SDSU to keep Aztec name following racially and politically charged debate

San Diego State University will keep the word Aztec as its nickname but create a more culturally sensitive version of its mascot in a decision that reflects nearly 20 years of racially charged debate about how the school treats indigenous people.

The Aztec Warrior … will be retained, but as Spirit Leader, not mascot,” interim SDSU President Sally Roush told the Union-Tribune on Thursday.

“We just expect a much more dignified and appropriate demeanor from that person. You won’t see the Aztec Warrior doing pushups in the endzone. You won’t see the Aztec Warrior dancing with the cheerleaders.”

Her action is part of a larger movement in the United States in which everyone from small high schools to large universities to Major League Baseball teams have tweaked or dropped nicknames and mascots that were regarded as culturally unacceptable. …

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