Cow with reportedly racist name wins award at state fair, prompting complaint from attendee

News & Politics

A man who attended the Wisconsin State Fair earlier this week was “taken aback” after he noticed that a prize-winning cow had a name so offensive that he claimed it was “on the same level” as the N-word.

On Thursday, David Blake of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, near Waukesha, joined tens of thousands of others at the Wisconsin State Fair, an annual event dating back all the way to 1851. While Blake was wandering about the bovine area, he saw a cow name that apparently stopped him dead in his tracks.

“We’re walking through the dairy barn, enjoying ourselves, and came across the nameplate and was kind of taken aback,” Blake recalled.

“It’s one of those words, one of those few words that should be totally off limits,” he continued. “I mean, there’s a big one that we all know, and I think it’s on the same level.”

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Blake then snapped a photo of the reportedly racist cow name and posted it to social media. “Shame on the state fair,” he said. “I’d assume there’d be policies in place where they kind of look at the names and everything, why this was allowed to get through.”

Vaun Mayes, who describes himself as “Milwaukee’s Malcolm X,” then shared the image on Facebook. “Ummmm Wisconsin State Fair this s*** has to come down. ASAP. Quit playing in our face. We KNOW this term is derogatory,” he wrote in the message.

After fair organizers got wind of the concerns expressed by Mayes, Blake, and others, they decided to change the cow’s name to Puzzle on the official list of junior show awardees.

“We do not tolerate or condone this behavior and took swift and deliberate action to rectify this situation. The animal has been removed from State Fair Park. The exhibitor who showed this animal was part of our junior show and is also no longer at State Fair Park,” said a statement from fair spokesperson Tess Kerksen.

“We plan to review the entry process and discuss ways to prevent this type of situation in the future,” Kerksen added.

The family who owns the cow also issued an apology. “We want to extend our sincere apologies to the Black community, the Wisconsin State Fair and fellow dairy farmers about the racially insensitive term we used to name one of our cows,” the statement released on Friday said. “We now recognize that use of this word is unacceptable and harmful. Immediately upon learning the meaning of this term, we changed the cow’s name. We are committed to educating ourselves further.”

Images indicate that the cow’s original name was the same word that black football analyst and former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III had to apologize for using on ESPN’s NFL pre-game show “Monday Night Countdown” last December. “People said that Jalen Hurts couldn’t get it done. He could not break from the pocket. He’s not the quarterback of the future,” Griffin said. “I think he proved all those j******s wrong.”

Griffin later apologized, stating on the platform formerly known as Twitter that he meant to say “‘Bug-A-Boos’ in reference to haters and doubters.” “Regardless of my intention, I understand the historical context of the term that came out of my mouth and I apologize,” he added.

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