Utah high school’s ‘Cougar’ mascot deemed offensive to women

Cougar: Classic mascot or sexy stereotype?

School officials in Utah decided that team spirit had taken a degrading turn and it would be best to ban a student-picked mascot: the cougar.

Being a cougar just isn’t what it used to be. Students enrolled at Corner Canyon High School in Draper were given the opportunity to vote on a new mascot. When they picked the fierce mountain cat, school officials overruled their choice, saying the cougar might remind people of “sexually aggressive middle-aged women who attract younger men,” according to the Daily Mail.

Parents also complained to school officials, saying they didn’t want their cheerleader daughters egging a mascot that is offensive to women.

Ultimately, school officials settled on “Chargers,” which was an option on the ballot, but wasn’t nearly as popular as “Cougars.”

“The board said this is a brand new school and we want to unite the community. And if there’s something out there that could divide it, let’s not go there,” said district spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.

Historically, the cougar has been a common mascot, including the widely popular Cosmo the Cougar at Brigham Young University, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So while cougars, in the context of the parlance of our times, may be thriving in sleazy lounges and dimly lit bars, could they soon be an endangered species on football fields and in gymnasiums?


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