Mascot Power Rankings: Calif. High School Under Fire For Arab Mascot

  • Rick Chandler

It’s the Mascot Power Rankings, our monthly feature highlighting the awesome, the absurd, and the clearly just-plain-wrong of the mascot world. Today: controversy, high-level jurisprudence, and testicles.

Here we are in the beautiful Coachella Valley, CA, where controversy has erupted over Coachella Valley High’s mascot, the Arab. First developed in 1931 (replacing “Date Pickers”), the Arab hasn’t caused much of a fuss until recently, when the school reworked his look. As you see above, and in the in the video below, not exactly PC.

Yep, a hook-nosed, sinister-looking Sheik who looks like he’s plotting something not-at-all good. The Arab has drawn protests from several quarters, among them the local newspaper, the Desert Sun, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The AAADC sent a letter to the local school board recently in which it stated that it was “appalled” by the mascot, and wants it out.

So time to rack up the ‘ol tradition-vs.-ethnic sensibilities debate. The decision by the school board came down on Tuesday: the school will rework the appearance of the mascot, but will not change the name … for now. A final decision on that will come at the end of the school year (in other words: let’s see if this all blows over by then).

Much ado about nothing? Well, look at the little skit below, and you be the judge.

High school girls belly dancing, led by a mascot dressed as an Arab Sheik? Oy.

Stay tuned.

Now let’s move on with the rankings:

2. Mr. Balls. In his native Brazil he’s known as “Senhor Testiculo”, and he’s that nation’s spokesmascot for Testicular Cancer Awareness. Mr. Balls makes our list because he always seems to show up at sporting events, and has a penchant for taking photos with kids. I’m not sure if this is incredibly creepy, or a great thing.

Keep fighting the good fight, Mr. Balls. And hope to see you at the 2014 World Cup. (See what I did there?).

Before we begin running down the rest of the Top Ten, let’s take a look at the best mascot moments from the 2013 baseball season, courtesy of MLB. The one below is my favorite — yours may differ.



Now let’s peer at the remainder of our Top Ten: