It was only a matter of time before the cancel culture would go after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and accuse them of romanticizing ‘pirate culture.’ They’ve gone after a number of sports franchises across America including the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Indians, and the Washington Redskins (now known as Washington Football Team).
Washington Post staff historian Jamie L.H. Goodall posted her op-ed piece ahead of the Super Bowl LV, in which the Buccaneers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL championship. She wrote about the ‘dangers’ of romanticizing ruthless cutthroats and argued that the ‘murderous thieves’ have become symbols of freedom and adventure.
“Yet, 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 wrote.
She said we should not be celebrating men and women who ‘willingly participated in murder, torture and the brutal enslavement of Africans and Indigenous people.’ Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany even tweeted out and called the Washington Post article ‘pathetic.’
Only the radical left would accuse professional sports teams of romanticizing pirate culture. https://t.co/HtqUo0zGRg
— American Conservatives (@AmConservatives) February 8, 2021
Goodall wrote specifically about the mythical pirate Jose Gaspar, otherwise known as Gasparilla. She said he was still celebrated in Tampa as the ‘Last of the Buccaneers,’ despite having a violent and troubling history. In one story, the Spanish pirate had kidnapped a 12-year-old girl for ransom and the judge made him choose between the Spanish navy or jail. While Gasparilla remains a popular figure in Florida folklore today, Goodall claims this proves her point about the Buccaneers team name.
Other historians found the article incredibly problematic and just plain desperate, noting that the United States had actually licensed and created pirates to harry Colonial ships during the Revolutionary War. Pirates, such as French privateer Jean LaFitte, were recognized as heroes for operating in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century and finding the colony in Texas.
Ironically enough, Goodall has a Ph.D. in history and is the author of ‘Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay. She even got a tattoo of a pirate on her arm, yet portrays them as one massive group of violent and torturous people. It takes a lot of guts to accuse others of ‘romanticizing ruthless cutthroats’ when you have a tattoo of them right on your arm.
What we should be canceling is The Washington Post.