MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education voted 4 to 3 in favor of respectfully retiring the names Redmen and Redette.
In a marathon school board meeting Monday night, over 100 residents turned out to make their feelings known about the nicknames that have caused over years of turmoil for the board. Monday’s meeting focused solely on the name change, with a public comment session that lasted hours and allowed over 30 residents the opportunity to speak directly to the board. The comments were overwhelmingly in favor of getting rid of the Redmen and Redette moniker that has been in place for decades.
“The term Redette is demeaning and diminishing,” said one person in favor of the name change. “It does not bring to mind strong female athletes. The name Redmen is perceived as a racial slur.”
“When I got to high school and got to be an athlete, I was proud of that logo,” said another person who did not want to see the name change. “And so my brother’s here, and he played sports and he was proud of that logo because it represented the power of what the Native Americans are. To me that was power. I was so proud to be a Redette.”
No replacement names have been chosen, but the board hinted at letting the Marquette Senior High School students determine the new name.