Christian fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils want the university to stop “idolizing the devil” and join the righteous. They said the school should replace Sparky the Devil with a more family-friendly mascot.
A recent survey found Sparky is considered one of the creepiest and most offensive in the country. He came in eighth on the list. Florida State’s Osceola and Renegade finished first, The Arizona Republic reported. Fans voted Willie The Wildcat from Northwestern as the best mascot in the country.
Some fans are trying to capitalize on this survey. They started a Change.org petition to get the team to become the Sun Angels.
“What once might have been viewed as acceptable is now just plain demonic. Anyone with an ounce of Christian belief will have a hard time pledging allegiance to, being loyal to, or spending money with the devil. With every T-shirt, souvenir, and game ticket they sell, (Arizona State) solidifies their consent that idolizing the devil is just ﬁne with them. This must stop — and the solution is a simple one,” the petition says. “ASU can simply ﬂip the switch and rename their teams to the Sun Angels. …
“Our goal is not to turn ASU into a religious school — just to save it from being a demonic one. Our impressionable youth worships and respects their sports teams and will for the rest of their lives be forced to refer to themselves as Sun Devil alumni.”
So far, more than 3,000 people have signed the petition, a little more than halfway to its goal of 5,000 signatures.
Sympathy for the Arizona State Sun Devil
Fans not liking a team’s mascot is nothing new, however. The Washington Football Team dropped its native American mascot after years of boycotts. The team also banned fans from wearing or displaying any native American headdresses and face paint this season. The Cleveland Indians also changed its name after complaints. The team will become the Guardians next season.
The Sun Devils wouldn’t even be the first team to drop the devil. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays became the Rays in the mid-2010s.
However, most fans are completely fine with the Sun Devils mascot. The Arizona Republic asked readers if the school should update its mascot, and more than 90 percent said the name should stay. Only 6 percent said the school should boot the devil.
It’s unlikely Arizona State is going to walk away from their team name since 1946. In fact, the team worked with Disney to update the look of Sparky in 2013. The House of Mouse created several designs of the famous character, and students chose their favorite.
That isn’t Disney’s only connection to Sparky. A Disney animator and ASU alumni designed the Sun Devils’ first logo in 1946. Legend has it he designed the character on his old boss Walt Disney. Though, original artist Berk Anthony never confirmed this rumor.