PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - A Saskatchewan junior hockey team has pulled its new Arabian-themed mascot that critics were calling offensive to Middle Eastern people.
The Prince Albert Raiders have announced that there will not be a team mascot at their Western Hockey League home games until further notice.
The mascot depicts an Arabian raider character holding a sword and a hockey stick.
The announcement came just one game into the mascot's career with the Raiders.
The Western Hockey League said Monday it asked the team to review its mascot policy and supports the club's decision.
The mascot sparked controversy and attracted national attention, with some people saying it was stereotyping Middle Eastern people.
The Raiders had said the mascot was meant to show their history, as it was modelled after the logo they used when they won the Memorial Cup in 1985.
?The mascot unveiled Nov. 14, 2014, was a derivation of the team?s original logo with the goal of enriching the game night experience for our loyal fans and was not intended to be offensive in nature,? the Raiders said in a statement posted on the team website Friday.
?The organization apologizes if anyone was offended by the character. There will be no further comment from the organization in this matter.?
Last week, Rhonda Rosenberg, executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, said the mascot plays into possible discrimination. (CKBI, The Canadian Press)