SKOWHEGAN – The RSU 54 school superintendent is still not commenting on a school board member selling “Skowhegan Indians” attire.
On Tuesday, ABC7/Fox22 aired a report about businessman Todd Smith selling the shirts from his Skowhegan business after the sports team nickname was retired earlier this year for being called out as offensive.
Those at the store on Wednesday said they have been selling merchandise for many local schools for a decade, and that the Skowhegan Indians shirts have gone down in popularity.
Officials from the Penobscot Nation have said the new “Indian Outlaw” design is insulting and plays off a stereotype that Native Americans are savages.
Some Skowhegan residents weighed in on the matter on Wednesday.
“Everybody has the right to their own opinion, and it’s his opinion and if that’s what he wants to do. I think it should be a free country,” said Tylene Bergeron.
“If somebody wants to buy shirts, or sell shirts, or wear shirts I think that’s a totally fine thing and it’s totally up to them,” Dawna Esty, another resident, said.
“I’m just waiting to see what they have for a next mascot,” said Carl Smith.
The school board chairwoman said that while she can’t speak for the board, she thinks it’s up to Smith to decide how to run his business. She said the board has not yet determined how a new name and mascot will be chosen.