Nashville Predators condemn 'predophile' button design - WSMV News 4

Nashville Predators condemn 'predophile' button design

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The design was posted to Facebook but later removed. (WSMV) The design was posted to Facebook but later removed. (WSMV)

As the Nashville Predators continue their run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there’s a play on words the team says it won’t stand for.

An East Nashville button designer posted a design idea to his community Facebook page that uses to the Predators logo and the phrase "I'm a Predophile.”

“It's sad. It's a sad commentary,” said Jessica Labenberg with the Sexual Assault Center.

The post was taken down after several people commented about the phrase being in poor taste.

“There are voices and community members who stood up and spoke out and said, ‘We don't support this.’ I think that’s huge,” Labenberg said.

Labenberg said the design undermines everything her organization has fought for.

“To make light of that just reinforces rape culture and throws up barriers to our community,” Labenberg said.

It’s a community that's all too familiar with sex crimes. According to the TBI, more than 150 sex offenders live in a three-mile radius of East Nashville.

“There are so many things they are involved in to lift this community up, and when you're using derogatory terms, it only tries to tear down,” said blogger Justin Bradford.

Bradford is also the host of Penalty Box Radio, and wrote a book on the history of the Predators and its branding.

He said the team’s name was never meant to be interpreted this way.

“Sabertooth cats, big beasts that were hunting back in prehistoric times. That's what we are talking about – the intimidation factor in terms of sports,” Bradford said.

Unfortunately, the button design isn't all that's floating around. Some fans of opposing teams have nicknamed the Predators "the sexual predators.” It even shows up online on Urban Dictionary.

Channel 4 reached out to the man who posted the design. He said he took the post down and that the button is "not news."

A spokesperson for the Predators said they never gave the man permission to use their logo, and condemn their brand being displayed this way. He added it goes against everything the Predators stand for.

The team has done work with several groups that fight sexual violence.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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