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WSU students to protest distribution of “culturally insensitive” mask

Cougador mask (Courtesy of WSU Athletics Facebook)
Cougador mask (Courtesy of WSU Athletics Facebook)

A group of Washington State University students will protest the distribution of “Cougador” masks before tonight’s football game against Arizona State University.

Members of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan, or M.E.Ch.A., and other supporters have called the masks culturally insensitive, according to a statement prepared by the group.

WSU Athletics will hand out 7,500 Lucha Libre-inspired masks before the game, which are supposed to be worn with a crimson cape handed out Oct. 12 before WSU’s game against Oregon State.

Lucha Libre is a style of professional wrestling in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, most famously parodied in “Nacho Libre,” a 2006 film staring Jack Black as a wrestler.

“The culture of the Latino/a community is not for sale,” the M.E.Ch.A. statement reads. “Many WSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans do not support this blatant act of cultural insensitivity.”

Protestors say the Athletic Department is taking advantage of Latino/a culture for the sake of a “marketing gimmick” for Halloween.

WSU Athletics announced this morning that they would continue with the promotion, according to the statement.

Students will protest in front of Martin Stadium at 5 p.m. before tonight’s football game, which will be televised on ESPN.

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