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Notre Dame defends leprechaun mascot after it was voted fourth-most offensive in college football survey

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 8/24/2021 Chris Bengel
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Notre Dame is fighting on behalf of its mascot. The school's Fighting Irish leprechaun is the fourth-most offensive mascot in college football, according to a recent survey. The survey, which was conducted by Quality Logo Products, revealed that the top three most offensive mascots were all ones that were disrespectful towards Native Americans: Florida's Osceola and Renegades, San Diego State's Aztec Warrior, and Hawaii's Vili the Warrior.

Notre Dame is not happy that their mascot finished so high up in the survey.

In a statement to the Indianapolis Star, the school defended the Fighting Irish leprechaun -- while also taking a shot at an NFL franchise.

Here's what Notre Dame said:

"It is worth noting ... that there is no comparison between Notre Dame's nickname and mascot and the Indian and warrior names (and) mascots used by other institutions such as the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins. None of these institutions were founded or named by Native Americans who sought to highlight their heritage by using names and symbols associated with their people."

In their defense, Notre Dame also noted that Irish culture has been a huge part of the school's fabric since it was founded.

"Our symbols stand as celebratory representations of a genuine Irish heritage at Notre Dame," the school added, "A heritage that we regard with respect, loyalty and affection."

In describing the history of the mascot's name, Notre Dame explained that "Fighting Irish" highlights how resilient Irish people are.

"In both the upraised fists of the leprechaun mascot and the use of the word 'fighting,' the intent is to recognize the determination of the Irish people and, symbolically, the university's athletes," the school said.

Quality Logo Products, which is an Illinois company that prints logos on t-shirts and water bottles, surveyed people to find the best, worst, sexiest, creepiest, and most offensive mascots in college football. The company polled 1,266 people in total in order to cast an accurate net and the surveys included 128 Division 1 football team mascots.

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