Students Protest Offensive USC Trojans Team Name

by Luke Phillips

Last week, dozens of USC students who trace their genetic lineage to the glorious race of Aeneas staged rallies and sit-ins outside and inside the Bovard Administrative Building, protesting the university administration’s refusal to re-examine the naming of USC’s unofficial mascot. The Trojan Students Coalition, made up exclusively of ethnically Trojan students, most of them first-generation USC attendees, claims that USC is guilty of exploiting the heritage of a persecuted ethnicity “just for its cool name.”

“In light of several recent events that have made national headlines, we are disappointed that our equally-valid plight goes unnoticed,” explained Hector Sakonopoulos, the President of TSC. “The fall of Troy was a horrific event in the history of the Trojan people, tantamount to genocide. When the forces of Achilles and Odysseus entered our ancestors’ glorious city in that disgusting equestrian hoax, they slaughtered thousands of our forebears and laid waste to our homeland. And USC thinks it can just steal the name of any obliterated civilization and slap it on a football team and marching band???”

Helen Ridiculiades, an ethnic Greek whose family married into the Trojan line, also weighed in. “There was a scandal when Stephen Colbert announced the establishment of the ‘Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,’ in light of the continuing controversy over the use of ‘Redskins’ for the name of the football team based in Washington D.C. Both names are pejorative, racist, and not fitting of 21st Century public discourse. Yet USC goes and names itself after an entire race of people that has been exterminated and no one says anything???”

But the Washington Redskins and #CancelColbert controversies were not the only situations TSC protestors proclaimed solidarity with.

“A few weeks ago, the Armenian community of Los Angeles held rallies and protests against those nations which have refused to identify the Armenian Genocide as a crime against humanity on the scale of the Nazi Holocaust,” explained Paris Satiriotus, another protestor. “We merely seek to continue that noble precedent, and we demand a recognition of the fall of Troy as a genocide to be condemned by all civilized nations, and never to be made light of by ignorant, callous college students or their oppressive administrators.”

Priam Paroduros, another activist, succinctly stated the purpose of the protests: “The bottom line is this: do we, as a society, want to condone terrible injustice, or do we not? I have reservations about the naming of our university’s unofficial mascot based solely on the whimsical racist quip of a rich old white man over a century ago. Even if calling us ‘Trojans’ was done only for the noblest of intentions, and done based on a positive rather than a negative stereotype, it still generalizes an entire race of people. And that is an injustice in itself.”

“Our demands are simple,” Paroduros continued. “We just want USC’s administration to begin a campaign to rename USC’s mascot after something that will not marginalize and oppress any ethnic, religious, class, or gender communities. How about ‘Bruins?’ No surer way to not offend people than by choosing a mascot that isn’t even of our species!”

“If President Nikias, a descendent of the brutal men who killed our ancestors, does not heed our demands and refuses to meet with us, he will be guilty of ignoring the voice of the USC student community,” said Sakonopoulos. “The Trojan Students Coalition will not accept this violation of our rights as students. It is not the Trojan way.”