PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Flyers have condemned the mummers who used blackface for a Gritty-inspired skit in the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. The two men, Mike Tomaszwski and Kevin Kinkel, were associated with Froggy Carr Mummers Club.
They have since been expelled and banned from all future mummers events.
“The Flyers had no knowledge or involvement in this group’s usage of our team colors, logo, and mascot imagery within its presentation, nor did we have any knowledge of the planned skit. We stand united with the entire Philadelphia community in condemning the brigade’s offensive racial symbolism,” the Flyers said in a statement.
Froggy Carr was disqualified from the mummers competition for the incident. The club’s theme was Gritty and the Flyers, whose colors are orange and black, but the two men who spoke to Eyewitness News reporter Matt Petrillo made it clear they knew they were wearing blackface and not just sporting the Flyers’ colors.
“Cause I like it. Yeah, why not? I know it’s a shame to be white in Philly right now. It’s a shame,” Tomaszwski said.
“It has nothing to do with being racist to the black person, or the white person, or the yellow person. It’s our tradition,” Kinkel said.
The mummers banned the use of blackface in 1963.
Some city officials are looking to see what legal avenues might exist to hold the individuals or the Froggy Carr organization accountable.