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Washington Post op-ed calls out Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pirate imagery: 'There is danger in romanticizing ruthless cutthroats'

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Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the take 'pathetic.' Others agreed.

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One wonders at this point if leftists are simply on a nonstop mission to root out and cancel all things with any association — however innocuous — to everything in history they define as wrong.

What's the background?

There's certainly plenty the left has managed to burn to the ground recently with its cancel-culture flamethrower. But how far will the self-appointed arbiters of good and evil go? In recent years, for example, sports franchises all over America have been barraged with left-wing criticism over their offensive mascots — with some bowing to the pressure. To wit:

And the battle to institute wokeness everywhere has even included college students so eager to board the left-wing bandwagon that they got hilariously hoodwinked, such as:

You get the picture.

What now?

Now back to Sunday's Super Bowl, which saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shock the defending champs from K.C. The Washington Post ran an op-ed that takes issue with the Bucs' pirate imagery.

The writer — Jamie L.H. Goodall, a staff historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History — argued that "while this celebration of piracy seems like innocent fun and pride in a local culture, there is danger in romanticizing ruthless cutthroats who created a crisis in world trade when they captured and plundered thousands of ships on Atlantic trade routes between the Americas, Africa, and Great Britain."

Goodall went on to say that treating pirate imagery as no big deal "takes these murderous thieves who did terrible things — like locking women and children in a burning church — and makes them a symbol of freedom and adventure, erasing their wicked deeds from historical memory."

She used the example of pirate legend José Gaspar — the "namesake" of Tampa's annual "Gasparilla Pirate Festival" — who was one of many pirate "murderers who pillaged, raped and plundered their way through the Caribbean. And they were well-known enslavers who dehumanized Africans and Indigenous people, selling them for profit."

How did folks react?

It's unclear what exactly has been driving the backlash against the op-ed, but some observers may have just witnessed enough wokeness to last them several lifetimes — such as former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Outkick's Clay Travis:

Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire sarcastically noted that the op-ed makes "a good point. I know many people who spent years swashbuckling on the high seas because of the way piracy was normalized by professional sports teams."

Others had similar takes:

  • "Is there anything #leftists won't try to ruin?" one commenter tweeted.
  • "ARE YOU F***IN' SERIOUS?!?! WOW!!!" another user exclaimed.
  • I guess we need to rename them to The Tampa Bay Football Team," another commenter said. "This is where all this is headed, right?"
  • "As a Pirate-American I am very offended by this. Yarr!" another user growled.
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