Notre Dame's Fighting Irish nickname is now under fire from a few prominent Sports TV personalities. This was predictable as the silly leprechaun has always been a straw man during debates about sports nicknames. As someone who is of Irish decent and a Notre Dame hater, I can't claim that I've ever been offended by either the name or cartoon. I don't see it as offensive and not even in the same ballpark as controversial names or mascots within the rest of the sports world.
I have met a few BC fans over the years who dislike Notre Dame's use of "Irish" but not for the reasons you would think. They claim we are the true "Irish" school given our history and population. I've never taken that argument seriously either.
As with the debate about Crusaders at Holy Cross, I think it all comes down to common sense. If either school was picking a nickname now in 2018, would they dare pick anything with any negative connotation? Of course not. But that modern sensitivity doesn't mean they should drop ties to their history. I don't even think this compares to the Yawkey controversy from the fall, since Yawkey was an actual person with clear positions that were controversial in his time.
Usually I would enjoy Notre Dame twisting in the wind, but I can't even appreciate the schadenfreude of the moment. This debate is a waste of time and energy and a distraction from the real issues facing colleges, sports and certainly our country. If you are truly offended by the name or the mascot, I can't say I share your pain or even understand it.
[Full Disclosure: my kids attend a school named Notre Dame and the sports team are the "Irish." However, there is no use of the tough guy leprechaun and the school doesn't use "fighting" in any official communications or branding.]