Local Connection: Name Change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Name Change

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By: Rick Blangiardi

Changing the name of all the University of Hawaii athletic teams to Rainbow Warriors is not the biggest issue of the day but it is important.

I've expressed my opinion on this issue before and I've put my name on a petition asking Athletic Director Ben Jay to reconsider his decision to begin on July 1 calling all men's teams Warriors and women's teams Rainbow Wahine.

Jay wants to avoid confusion since men's teams go by three names: Warriors, Rainbow Warriors and Rainbows.

But what is confusing to me is Jay's insistence that the Rainbow Warriors name doesn't resonate enough with long-time fans of our sports teams to be considered for all of our teams.

The UH Letterwinners Club sent Jay a letter last week asking that he hold off on renaming the teams and a rally was held last Friday in support of the name the teams held prior to the year 2000.

Jay didn't waste much time shooting down those who wanted to maintain our history and legacy and said he was not aware of any past organized campaigns to change the nicknames of the men's teams to Rainbow Warriors or Rainbows.

Nearly 30 teams are named Warriors but Rainbow Warriors works for University of Hawaii just as Buckeyes works for Ohio State.

If you believe, as I do, that we should return to the name that represents this beautiful home of ours, let our athletic director know how you feel.

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