George Murdoch was a celebrated athlete at Quartz Hill High School in the Antelope Valley in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He competed in football, basketball and track as a Rebel, a nickname the school celebrated with a cartoon Confederate soldier and the Confederate flag as its mascot.
“I hated it,” said Murdoch, who is biracial and is better known by his stage name “Tyrus” on Fox Nation’s streaming talk show “Nuff Said With Tyrus.” “Being called a Rebel didn’t make sense to us. We’re not in the South. We’re in California. We just didn’t get it.”
Now those in authority agree with him. Last week, officials announced that after 56 years the school is ditching the mascot, known as Johnny Rebel. Earlier this month Flintridge Prep, a small private school in La Cañada Flintridge, quietly dumped its Rebel mascot as well, renaming its sports team the Wolves.
Quartz Hill hasn’t chosen a new nickname, but the fact that it’s axing the old one comes at a time of rising racial tensions in the Antelope Valley. Earlier this month the body of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man, was found hanging from a tree outside the Palmdale City Hall, about 12 miles from the high school. The cause of death is still under investigation.
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