A high school in Texas has come under fire after their mascot, the "Cotton Pickers," went viral this week.
Robstown High School’s mascot came to light after Chris Thomasson, a sports reporter for KIII TV, tweeted a video from Friday night’s football game, writing, “The Robstown Cotton Pickers come out before their season opener against London tonight.”
Thomasson quickly retweeted his video, adding, “This tweet is blowing up. To be fair, most times I remember to just call them the Pickers. Agree it’s probably time for a change.”
Robstown Independent School District issued a statement Saturday night acknowledging the negative social media attention the mascot name received. Ahead of the written statement, the caption of the post read, “The District is aware of trending social media regarding our school mascot. Please see below for our Official Statement in response to this concern.”
“Robstown Independent School District has not received commentary from parents or community members regarding our school mascot,” the statement began. “The area around Robstown is one of the leading cotton producing regions in the United States. To be a Robstown ‘Cotton Picker’ represents a sense of pride based on tradition for the students and a historical legacy for the community members of Robstown. Thus, the community does not perceive a negative connotation connected with its mascot.”
The statement concluded, “At this time, Robstown ISD will stay focused on students' needs as a priority. The District remains committed to our vision of inspiring life-long learning by providing limitless opportunities for success."
According to KIII-TV, Robstown's mascot was first brought to light in 2017 after a neighboring school changed its mascot from a rebel wearing a confederate flag for being offensive. That same year, Robstown residents explained that the mascot "cotton picker" represented their Hispanic culture.
At this time, there have been no formal challenges of Robstown's team name.