The image of Ole Miss is that of a team that sits in the Old South where everyone is white and racist. However, Oxford is more diverse than you think, and athletes of color often fuel their athletic programs. They changed from Colonel Reb in 2003 to the bear because they knew that it looked bad having a virulent racist confederate soldier on the sidelines, and now they have moved from the bear to the Landshark because their players sort of created this persona for them.

Why change at all?

We have seen over the course of the last year that you cannot cite heritage as a reason to fly the banner of racism and prejudice.

Anyone who has been fighting to keep up confederate statues or claims that they were raised a certain way looks very bad because they could easily wash off the old racist images that were once a part of their upbringing. Colonel Reb had to go because he was too obvious and too reminiscent of a very bad time in American history. The bear was simply a change that made the school look a little bit more kind, but then the Landshark came out of nowhere where it was embraced by people like Marshall Henderson. The students have taken to the Landshark, and now Ole Miss has a new mascot.

They will change completely one day

Ole Miss currently are called the Runnin' Rebels, and a lot of people never even mention their mascot just because it sounds a little bit strange to talk about the Civil War while watching a football or basketball game.

There are a lot of teams where their location and their mascot are interchangeable, but most people only say Ole Miss. That is all you ever hear, and that might lead to a change of their mascot altogether. I do not think for a second they will change to the Landshark, but I do think that they might consider a change that might be more in line with what their image is today.

Ole Miss is at least trying

We could easily make fun of Ole Miss because they look like they are stuck in another time, but they are trying to change their image. They are also trying to get the spotlight off the Hugh Freeze scandal. They need to do something positive so that people will remember that they are not a terrible school filled with terrible people.

They have to cast off the idea that Oxford is filled with antebellum mansions and old plantation owners. If you have never been to Oxford, then you do not realize it is just a college town. Perhaps Ole Miss is doing the best job possible of modernizing itself.

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