ASU

Arizona Fan Feigns Offense at ASU's "Satanic" Mascot, Accidentally Dupes Local TV News

People will get offended by anything these days.

That’s the hypothesis University of Arizona Alumni Josh Miller set out to test when he launched a tongue-in-cheek petition on Change.org last week calling on rival Arizona State University to stop “using Satan as its mascot."

In the petition, Miller, a 37-year-old financial adviser who lives in Scottsdale, argued that referring to ASU students as “Sun Devils” was offensive to “all good, non-devil worshippers in the world,” and Sparky, ASU’s horned, gold and burgundy mascot, “scares children and causes nightmares.”

“Satan is a symbol of evil,” he wrote. “The world will be a better place when all images of Satan, including the ‘Sun Devil’ mascot and symbol are eliminated.”


Miller was inspired to take a jab at ASU after U of A officials made the announcement last week that its football team would no longer rev up for games with a New Zealand Maori war dance, as it has since 2009. The school ditched the tradition after a California State University, Northridge, anthropology professor created a petition accusing the team of cultural appropriation.

Christina Campbell, who is originally from New Zealand, said she was insulted by how poorly the football players performed the dance, called the Ka Mate haka, which has deep cultural, and spiritual meaning to many. Her petition, filed after she saw the Wildcats perform on ESPN, garnered national media attention and more than 1,800 signatures. U of A got roasted on social media.
Miller, however, thought the whole situation was "ridiculous," he said. He wasn't convinced that there was anything wrong with the tradition, which was started by a group of Polynesian players who wanted to share a part of their culture with the Wildcats.

“People are just so ready to be offended,” he said. "No matter how valid the argument, they’ll jump on any cause.”  

True to his prediction, Miller's satirical petition, which he shared on Twitter and a U of A Facebook fan page, quickly amassed hundreds of signatures and attracted the attention of several local media outlets.
It's pretty clear that many of the people who got riled up about the issue on social media were just trash-talking U of A and ASU students.
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Elizabeth Stuart
Contact: Elizabeth Stuart