Robstown ISD's school nickname, the Cotton Pickers, is earning national derision by a leading national website which mentioned the school during a story posted on Saturday.
TMZ.com ripped Robstown for its nickname after learning of it during a series of tweets from the school's game against London High School on Friday.
"Fact is, the history of cotton picking in this country usually conjures up just one thing for most -- AKA, slavery -- and that alone should be reason enough to pivot," TMZ.com said in its Saturday post. "Time for hard talks in 2020."
That post and others led Robstown and Cotton Pickers to become viral on social media on Saturday.
Me seeing the Robstown COTTON PICKERS trending: pic.twitter.com/yOePcXH5Ym
— Kia Zhani🇯🇲 (@kiazhani) September 5, 2020
— RatchetFridayMedia.com® (@RatchetFriday) September 5, 2020
But others defended the team's historic nickname.
Our name is The Robstown Cotton Pickers and we are proud OUR history. Please Retweet to spread the word. pic.twitter.com/pNokyzlAry
— ❀ 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞 ❀ (@danielleangeIic) September 5, 2020
The story prompted a response from the district on Saturday.
"Robstown Independent School District has not received commentary from parents or community members regarding our school mascot," the district's statement said. "The area around Robstown is one of the leading cotton producing regions in the United States. To be a Robstown 'Cotton Picker' represents a sense of pride based on tradition for the students and a historical legacy for the community members of Robstown.
"Thus, the commuity does not perceive a negative connotation connected with its nickname. At this time, Robstown ISD will stay focused on student needs as a priority. This district remains committed to our vision of inspiring life-long learning, by providing limitless opportunities for success."