BELLEVUE, WA – A plan to change the University of Massachusetts mascot from the Minuteman to a gray wolf, brought a quick response today from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA): “Keep your mascot, and lose your athletic director.”

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron said the announcement, by UMass Athletic Director Ian McCaw, that there are “gender, firearms and ethnicity issues” is one more example of political correctness gone amok.

“The Minuteman is a symbol of freedom in this country, including academic freedom, and just because some focus groups would rather not purchase sweat shirts and caps bearing the Minuteman image, McCaw and the university are preparing to erase part of Massachusetts history and tradition,” Waldron observed. “You could probably find a focus group somewhere that would insist Bill Clinton is still president, and Saddam Hussein isn’t such a bad guy.”

According to an Associated Press report, the mascot change is being suggested to help boost sales of UMass items. Focus groups have reportedly told the school that “people don’t buy items with Minutemen on them.” Apparently, some object to the depiction of an armed white male as the school’s most recognizable emblem.

“Had it not been for the Minuteman,” Waldron noted, “there might not be a Massachusetts. This colonial citizen-soldier stood firm against British tyranny at Lexington and Concord. It is appalling that UMass would now be willing to sell out its heritage just to sell shirts and caps. There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture.

“The Minuteman,” Waldron added, “conjures up images of courage and devotion, to home, family, community and country. These should be the qualities that UMass would want to instill in its students, faculty and supporters. The spirit of the Minuteman lives on, but quite obviously not in the cloistered offices of UMass administrators. UMass should be ashamed.”