“Leprechauns are men,” someone, somewhere is surely saying right now. But women are equally capable of dressing in green suits and matching green Irish country hats to brandish blackthorn sticks at cheering crowds because leprechauns aren’t real and thus can be whatever we wish them to be.
The University of Notre Dame seems to agree with this progressive take on folklore creatures, as it has announced that Lynnette Wukie, a sophomore from Ohio, will be the first woman leprechaun to hype the football and basketball crowds dressed as the team mascot:
“‘Who says the Fighting Irish can’t fight like a girl?” Wukie, a sophomore from Ohio, said in her video application. “My rector told me, ‘Little girls are going to want to be you,’ so to be that role model for young women is really special.’”
Wukie and classmate Samuel Jackson will also be the second and third black students to don the green suit since the first leprechaun took the field in 1965. The first was Mike Brown, who graduated in 2001. The IndyStar notes the 2018-19 season will be the “most diverse roster of three since the leprechaun became the school’s official mascot.”
Hooray for progress.