The jerseys appeared in a blog post on Puck Daddy, a blog on Yahoo! Sports. The blog's author, Greg Wyshynski, seemed to poke fun at the jerseys, calling them "delightfully ugly." But the comments came next, and many posed the question of whether or not the jerseys were racist.
"The mustache and hat are ridiculous. When will the people in this country grow up and recognize that ethnicity and culture shouldn't be someone else's punchline?"
Another person commented, "Isn't this racist?"
But Gordon Kaye,
executive director of the IceHogs, says that certainly wasn't his
intention. In fact Kaye says he's been
working with the Coalition of Latino Leaders in
"I came to the coalition with this idea of, let's reach out to the Latino community and put together a 'Los IceHogs' night," said Kaye.
Rudy Valdez, member of the Coalition of Latino Leaders, has been working side by side with Kaye for the last several months, mulling over every detail of the event targeted at minority group.
very, very respectful to the Latino community," said
"He wants to bring
in a lot of different acts and he's been asking us, engaging us, and we provide
a lot of feedback and he listens to us,"
But what do local Hispanics think? Most agreed that they don't find it offensive.
"Not at all," said Bianca Chavez. Chavez said she actually thought the jerseys were fun and colorful. She says she now considers possibly going to an IceHogs game.
Christa Jennings said she can see how they might be possibly offensive, but when she heard about the cause she changed her mind.
"If they're geared
towards reaching out to the Latino community, I don't think that they are,"
Sergio Garcia says the jersey isn't really his color, but he doesn't see anything wrong with the way "Hammy" the IceHogs mascot is dressed up.
"I don't see how it could be offensive," said Garcia. "It's a pig, not a person."
In fact most of the comments were actually positive about the jerseys. Many people claimed that indeed they looked a little "tacky" but they liked them. One person said "Those are horrible in a wonderful sort of way."
But does the marketing ploy work? Will Latinos come out to watch the IceHogs?
Garcia says, "If they're good, I guess."
"Los IceHogs" night is next Friday, November 16th. The first 2,500 attendees will also receive free maracas.