Are These Mascots Offensive?

October 14, 2013
IndianNicknames1

Clockwise: NFL’s Washington Redskins, NCAA Utah Runnin’ Utes, MLB Atlanta Braves, NCAA Florida State Seminoles

Usually when I talk about racism, I talk about the past policy to deny black Mormons the priesthood and temple ordinances.  However, there are other types of racism, and Native American racism is in the news.  Many people consider that the name NFL’s Washington Redskins is a racial slur.  President Obama weighed in on the issue and said “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”  Hall of Fame players (who played for Washington) Darrell Green and Art Monk think the name should be changed.  A friend of mine from the DC area has wanted to get the name changed for years, feeling it is racially insensitive at best.  Yet owner Daniel Snyder grew up as a fan of the team.  Back in May, he told USA Today  “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER – you can use caps.”

If you think Redskins is not a slur (like Daniel Snyder does) how would we feel about the Washington Whiteskins, or Washington Blackskins, or Washington N-word, or Washington Crackers, or Washington Honkies?  I’m not sure why Washington gets so much press, while the Atlanta Braves or Cleveland Indians don’t.  Is Cowboy a slur against white people?  Before last night’s game between the Redskins and Cowboys,  NBC’s Bob Costas explained why he thinks both the Redskins and Cleveland Indians nicknames are worse than the others.

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On top, Chief Osceola in a pre-game ceremony plants a flaming spear in the turf at Florida State University. Below is MLB’s Cleveland Indians. Are these appropriate representations of Native Americans?

President Obama has questioned whether Native Americans should be used by any team when he said “But I think — all these mascots and team names related to Native Americans, Native Americans feel pretty strongly about it. And I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real, legitimate concerns that people have about these things.”  Many teams have wrestled with using Indian names, including here in Utah.  The University of Utah, (the flagship institution here–note that BYU is a private school, not a state school) is known as the “Runnin’ Utes.” The NCAA put pressure on teams to change their mascots away from Native American names back in 2005, ruling that teams must get approval from the local tribe or they would not be able to host post-season games.  The Ute Tribe has given it’s blessing to the University of Utah, so the U is still in the good graces of the NCAA.  However, even though Florida State University has the same permission from the Seminole Tribe, the NCAA takes exception to it’s pre-game ritual where a student dressed as Chief Osceola rides onto the field on a spotted horse and plants a flaming spear in the turf, saying that this is “hostile or abusive.”  Other Seminole Tribes outside of Florida have not granted permission for FSU to use the Seminole nickname.

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NCAA doesn’t like the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois mascot. The Syracuse (NY) University Orangemen have tamed down it’s image of a fierce Indian to literally an Orange with legs. Is this right, or should Syracuse change their name too?

Some schools have changed their names.  The Marquette (Wisconsin) Warriors are now the Golden Eagles.  The St. Johns (NY) Redmen are now the Red Storm.  Here in Utah, The Dixie College Rebels changed their name to the Red Storm (and even removed a Confederate statue on campus.)  Washington, DC isn’t immune from name changes.  The NBA team Bullets changed their name to the Wizards because of the outcry that the city was prone to gun violence and could use a better name than bullets.

What about whites?  Are you offended to be called a Yankee or a Cowboy?

Take the poll and tell us if you think these teams should change their nicknames because they are racially offensive. We can also talk about “bad” nicknames too. Would you want to be a Nebraska Cornhusker? How about a Jordan High School (Utah) Beetdigger, or a Davis High School (Utah) Dart? An Ohio State Buckeye is a tree officially called Aesculus glabra.  Does this inspire fear?  Are trees scary?  (Perhaps if they fall on you?)  The NBA’s New Orleans Hornets changed to the Pelicans because they wanted something more connected to the city.  Is that better?

Should the Washington Redskins change their mascot because it is racist?

  • yes (55%, 41 Votes)
  • no (38%, 28 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (7%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 74

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Should the Utah Utes change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (65%, 41 Votes)
  • yes (27%, 17 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 63

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Should the Atlanta Braves change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (54%, 32 Votes)
  • yes (37%, 22 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (9%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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Should the Florida State Seminoles change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (68%, 38 Votes)
  • yes (23%, 13 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (9%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 56

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Should the Fighting Illini of Illinois change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (64%, 29 Votes)
  • yes (24%, 11 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (12%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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Should the Cleveland Indians change their mascot because it is racist?

  • yes (58%, 29 Votes)
  • no (42%, 21 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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Should the Syracuse Orangemen change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (60%, 29 Votes)
  • yes (29%, 14 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (11%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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Utah's Dixie College Rebels changed their name about the same time they went University status.  Now they are the Dixie State Red Storm.  But nobody seems to be asking the University of MIssissippi Rebels to change their mascot, despite this good ole' boy racist image.

Utah’s Dixie College Rebels changed their name about the same time they went University status. Now they are the Dixie State Red Storm. But nobody seems to be asking the University of MIssissippi Rebels to change their mascot, despite this good ole’ boy racist image.

Should the Ole' Miss Rebels change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (57%, 31 Votes)
  • yes (33%, 18 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (10%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 54

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Should the Dallas Cowboys change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (92%, 49 Votes)
  • yes (6%, 3 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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WhiteNicknames

Should the New York Yankees change their mascot because it is racist?

  • no (91%, 51 Votes)
  • yes (7%, 4 Votes)
  • I don't know/care (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 56

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Which option more closely resembles D&C 121?

  • Let Obamacare roll out and let the people see what a disaster it has been so far (56%, 20 Votes)
  • Other: (I'll add my answer in the comments. (25%, 9 Votes)
  • Shutdown the Government over Obamacare (19%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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56 Responses to Are These Mascots Offensive?

  1. Hedgehog on October 14, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    I found this interesting. What access do the members of those tribes have when it comes to being educated at those institutions, training in the game, and liklihood of actually being on the team. Is this a case of the tribes being integrated with the culture, or a case of their culture (in this case the name) being appropriated, whilst the tribes themselves remain marginalised. If the latter, then I think the teams probably should change their name.

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  2. Jettboy on October 14, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    “What access do the members of those tribes have when it comes to being educated at those institutions, training in the game, and liklihood of actually being on the team.”

    The same as any other American as a free country. In fact, I will even say better chance than any white person with today’s racial quota laws.

    “would we feel about the Washington Whiteskins, or Washington Blackskins, or Washington N-word, or Washington Crackers, or Washington Honkies?”

    I would be whooping and celebrating! Finally, this anti-American, anti-free speech political correctness madness will have been broken. Let us be free to offend EVERYONE again. Not in some kind of “you still can offend in private” kind of way, but openly and without shame.

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  3. Jeff Spector on October 14, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Firstly, we should probably stop calling Native Americans that name as well, as they are not technical “Americans” in the geographical sense of the word because the word America comes from an Italian guy. But, if we called them “natives” that would also be offensive. And in reality, they are not even native to this land, because they actually came from somewhere else.

    And, we should totally stop calling them “Indians” because they are not from India, which is, of course offensive to real Indians.

    And, we should make sure that no mascot names are “gamblers” since those folks now control most of the gambling in this country and that might also be offensive as well.

    And, actually, to the lions, tigers and bears have any say on this subject?

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  4. MH on October 14, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    What is the allure of political incorrectness?

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  5. Jeff Spector on October 14, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    “What is the allure of political incorrectness?”

    Because political correctness is a moving target imposed by the few on the many.

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  6. Will on October 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Should be an option “Hell No”

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  7. tristin on October 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Pretty sure it is just Syracuse Orange now and hasn’t been Orangemen for a long time (since 2004, I think).

    Political correctness isn’t useful purely for the sake of avoiding offense, but it is often another form of microaggression that perpetuates subconscious ideas of inequality between groups. Our words have influence on our actions and our thoughts, whether we are aware of the process or not. Therefore, I don’t avoid using racial slurs because of how it would look to others; I avoid them because they interact with a million other microaggressions that prevent me from seeing beyond stereotypes to the individuals themselves.

    Resistance to political correctness is very understandable, because we are rarely aware of our latent tendency toward discrimination. Liberals could do a hell of a lot better at bringing up the subject, as a defensive person will never move any closer to the truth. Nonetheless, words are powerful and they deserve to be used with discipline and conscious intent. The excuse of “We didn’t mean no harm in it” is not admissible.

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  8. Martel on October 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    No they are not.

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  9. Will on October 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Seriously, people are way too sensitive.

    A Ute Indian should be proud the school named it’s mascot after them; just as we named our STATE after them. Should we change the name of our State too? How stupid.

    Now, if a company ran a port-a-potie business called the “Utes” it would be a whole different story. Or they called it John-Co….wait a minute they do. You don’t see a huge protest by John’s. Grow a pair.

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  10. Douglas on October 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    The name lent itself to some humor about 20 years ago… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNZ1O2KTOOg

    Jeff wrote: “And in reality, they are not even native to this land, because they actually came from somewhere else.” As are we all, if you believe in Genesis (“Is planet FORBIDDEN!”) and the account of the Tower of Babel. They’ve been saddled with misnomers, starting with Indians (it was a honest mistake) and so on. I don’t see why “Redskin” would be so offensive but I don’t use that term anyway. If I know the specific tribal name, I prefer to use that. Jeff also wrote: “Because political correctness is a moving target imposed by the few on the many.” Spot on. Liberals exists due to the culture of “victimization”. Supposedly we’re hurting Cree, Sioux, Algonquin, Cherokee, Navajo, etc. by employing sporting logos. Awfercryinoutloud…Chief Wahoo is a cartoon. Anyone with a few functioning brain cells wouldn’t associate him with any “Native American” in real life. And I say the Braves will never propser in the post-season until they bring back Chief Nokahoma. And what, pray tell, is actually offensive about the Redskins “mascot”? Looks quite dignified to me. For that matter, am I a bigot if I acquire and ride that famed motorcycle, complete with the “Indian Head” on the fender? Sheesh.

    This belongs in the FREE marketplace of ideas. Certainly a sport team’s logo is paramount in its marketing, and they’d want to avoid negative connotations. My suggestion for the owners of the Redskins, Indians, Braves, Chiefs, etc…include at your stadium a display pertaining to regional tribes and or guest tribes. Include their spokespersons to the extent possible. Let them use your forum to educate folks what their peoples are about. Sure, we can have fun, but it’s an opportunity to learn.

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  11. Howard on October 14, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Superior weapons insured the decimation of their lifestyle and culture and we still inhabit and pollute the land they once moved through with reverence. Crouts, Japs, gooks and slopes? We helped ‘em all rebuild, look at them today and we generally treat them with respect! Even if we tried to give it back, where is the well stocked clean air and water we took? Doesn’t the wind blow GM seed today? Maybe this is why our prophets were led to believe they were Lamanites to garner sympathy and help for something that may have been necessary to establish Zion in the mountains. But today it’s easier to just look the other way and root for or against the Redskins as we tell ourselves we have a legal right to all of it, even their logos.

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  12. J on October 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    People take this way too far. Like the previous commentor said; they are not using the name for a portopotty company–it’s sports teams that use the name to describe toughness, skill, team organization and bravery.

    Being offended occasionally is part if being human. I doubt any if the “victims” even cared until some left wing victim chaser made issue of it.

    It’s so in vogue to recognize, identify and to root for an oppressed people. Left wingding era take this to a whole new level of PRETENTIOUSNESS.

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  13. J on October 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    And oh–this population has more access to college and scholarships than my kids do. The playing field in that arena was leveled years ago. I have mixed feelings on that…good and bad have resulted from it.

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  14. Howard on October 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Here is what the National Congress of American Indians has to say about it: http://www.ncai.org/resources/ncai-publications/Ending_the_Legacy_of_Racism.pdf

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  15. Howard on October 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    The term Redskins originates from a time when Native people were actively hunted and killed for bounties , and their skins were used as proof of Indian kill. This derogatory name was created in 1932 – while the federal “Civilization Regulations” were still in place , confining Native people to reservations, banning all Native dances and ceremonies, confiscating Native cultural property and outlawing much of what was traditional in Native life. That also was the year before owner George Preston Marshall instituted what would be come a 13-year league-wide ban on African – American players from the NFL. (The Washington football team did not integrate until 30 years later, when Marshall was forced to do so)

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  16. Wyoming on October 14, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    As one who works mostly with Native Tribes, the Utes agreements seem the best. The tribe gets millions in free advertisement from a university that is soften successful. However, there is a victim industry among the tribes that does nothing but disempowers future generations, and guilt-ridden whites who worry most about mascot names, do the most damage.

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  17. Will on October 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    What is really offensive is a BYU Cougar. I mean the term cougar implies much older women seeking much younger men. Totally offensive.

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  18. Douglas on October 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    #17 – I’m just waiting for someone to solicit some rather attractive 40-ish BYU coed alumni-ettes for a “Cougars of BYU” piece. Surprised that no one’s done it yet, save that they can’t find any takers (good). I haven’t Googled for it yet, I assume that the hue and cry would bring it to my attention anyway.

    Changing of colloquialisms can produce some interesting results. My grandkids snicker at the intro to the Flintstones – “We’ll have a GAY old time!” Then again, Betty and Wilma seemed way too hot for Fred and Barney to always pal about, so I dunno….

    With all the more relevant issues confronting the tribes in varying ways (unemployment, alcoholism, crime, equitable division of tribal revenues), it seems that those who truly advocate the cause of the “Native American” have more productive things they could do with their energies.

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  19. Jeff Spector on October 15, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    We can go on and on about the abuses Native Americans have suffered at the hands of the invading colonists. There is no question about it and mostly swept under the rug for over 300 years of American history. But, OTOH, world history is littered with those same atrocities heaped upon various peoples since the beginning of time, which continues to this day. In other words, almost every group at one time or another has been a perpetrator and a victim.

    Certain groups are forced to abandon their victimhood and told to get over it. But in some cases with other groups, victimhood persists. Ironically, in some ways, Mormons are more like the latter than the former.

    At some point, to progress, groups have to get beyond their victimhood.

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  20. Jeff Spector on October 15, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Howard,

    “The term Redskins originates from a time when Native people were actively hunted and killed for bounties…”

    This is revisionist history and does not really reflect the thinking of most modern historians. The term redskin seems to originate with the face paint of New England-based tribes and was described by the colonists in the late 1700’s.

    Obviously, your version plays more to the derogatory nature of the term in spite of the fact, it does not seem to have been used in that context. It plays well for he current protest.

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  21. MH on October 15, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Hedgehog,

    “What access do the members of those tribes have when it comes to being educated at those institutions, training in the game, and liklihood of actually being on the team.”

    In the case of professional athletics, there is nothing done. In the case of colleges, I will mention that Jim Plunkett played for the Stanford Indians (now known as the Stanford Cardinal–as in color, not the bird.) Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy as the best college player. Drafted by New England, he was terrible (actually the team was terrible.) But he later played for the Oakland Raiders and won a Super Bowl.

    Native Americans have access but it is pretty rare for someone like Jim Plunkett to play college sports, let alone the pros. I can’t think of any other Indians besides Plunkett that even start in the NFL, NBA, or MLB. I laugh when I hear white people like J complain about Affirmative Action, as it hasn’t led to a massive over-representation of Indians in college, or college sports. I teach at a few colleges here in Utah. I have exactly 1 Indian student in all of my classes, and last semester I had zero.

    Jeff, can you back up your claim? Where do you get “most modern historians”?

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  22. MH on October 15, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Tristin,

    I was surprised to hear Syracuse is now called the Orange now instead of Orangemen. I was more shocked to hear that this changed happened in 1995 (according to Wikipedia.) However, I’m not alone. Note this website refers to the “Lady Orangemen” and is updated with the 2013 schedule. I just did a poll, and more than half my class thought Syracuse was still called the Orangemen, not Orange.

    http://ladyorangemensoccer.com/

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  23. Jeff Spector on October 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Here is a short list. Given there is no evidence for the other version:

    Alden T. Vaughan
    Oxford Dictionary
    Ives Goddard
    J. Gordon Hylton
    Sitting Bull

    I should have included linguists in my comment. Now, having said that, perhaps it has become a pejorative in the minds of some. That is another issue, but inventing history and historical usage is not proper.

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  24. Howard on October 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Jeff,
    You may be right about it being revisionist history it’s hard to say, I was just quoting the National Congress of American Indians link and didn’t research it further.

    Wikipedia says: Some claim the term is a particularly egregious racial epithet that represents a bloody era in American history in which Indigenous Americans were hunted, killed, and forcibly removed from their lands by European settlers. The claim often centers around a proclamation against Penobscot Indians in 1755 issued by King George II of Great Britain, known commonly as the Phips Proclamation. The proclamation orders, “His Majesty’s subjects to Embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.” The colonial government paid 50 pounds for scalps of males over 12 years, 25 pounds for scalps of women over 12, and 20 pounds for scalps of boys and girls under 12. Twenty-five British pounds sterling in 1755, worth around $9,000 today —a small fortune in those days when an English teacher earned 60 pounds a year. However, since the proclamation itself does not use the word redskin, citing it as the origin of “redskin = scalp” has also been called “revisionist history”

    It sounds quite a bit more serious than the Mormon Extermination Order.

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  25. Jeff Spector on October 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Howard,

    “You may be right about it being revisionist history it’s hard to say,”

    Yeah, it’s hard to say by those who want it to be true, rather than fact-based. The King George reference is also suspicious. Not because I do not believe those things happened, because it is clear they did. but it’s part of the revisionist narrative that doesn’t tie to more modern historical fact, like the use of “Redskin.”

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  26. Howard on October 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    It’s hard to say because history is written by the victors.

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  27. Howard on October 15, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Well the Redskins = scalps claim was made by Susan Shown Harjo in the trademark lawsuit.

    Harjo argues that pejorative use of “redskin” grew from the practice of offering bounties to anyone who killed Indians. Bounty hunters “needed proof of kill, but they had a storage problem,” she said. “Instead of a body, they accepted the ‘redskin’ or the genitalia, or scalps.” But while such bounty proclamations were issued as early as the mid-18th century, Harjo acknowledged that she has not found an early instance of “redskin” in such a context.

    So there appears to be no evidence to support Harjo’s claim.

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  28. Howard on October 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Harjo says she learned this from “the clan mothers, the keepers of history” of the Iroquois, she says, and she also heard it from the Cheyenne and the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot, all of whom speak Algonquian. In her culture, truth is spoken, not written.

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  29. Jeff Spector on October 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    In some cases, truth is imagined or made up….. especially when it is only one person who seems to know.

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  30. J on October 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    MH–I was referring to affirmative action in college admissions and scholarships/financial aid. I was not referring to sports–interesting concept though–affirmative action in sports. Any coach out there would be so eager to win that they’d take any skilled player of any race in the times we live in.

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  31. mh on October 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Jeff, I don’t understand your comment. Sitting bull isn’t a modern historian and I am unfamiliar with the people you’ve listed or what they have to say.

    J, ever heard of the Rooney rule in the NFL? As for affirmative action, do you see a bunch of native Americans flocking to college? I don’t, so I don’t know any Indians who are taking the place of you or your kids in class.

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  32. Hedgehog on October 16, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Thanks for the response MH. I asked because in Britain routes to sporting success (and this was discussed over and over in the media, in the run up to the London Olympics), in the main seem to depend on having the financial wherewithall to join the clubs, pay for the training and where necessary, the equipment. I think football (soccer) is possibly the one exception to this. I wondered if there were similar hurdles in the US.

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  33. Jeff Spector on October 16, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    MH,

    “I am unfamiliar with the people you’ve listed or what they have to say.”

    I’m sure you can do the research as I have to figure out what these folks have researched about the name. I included Sitting Bull since he, called himself a “redskin.” I thought he was a pretty good authority. Certainly not modern.

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  34. MH on October 16, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Jeff, I’m sure you can cogently state your point too, or are you not interested in actually defending what you have to say?

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  35. Jeff Spector on October 16, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    MH,

    You asked for the list, I gave you the list. I started with Wikipedia and went on from there.

    I made my point in #20 above as stated:

    “This is revisionist history and does not really reflect the thinking of most modern historians. The term redskin seems to originate with the face paint of New England-based tribes and was described by the colonists in the late 1700′s.”

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  36. mh on October 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Jeff, I find your attempts to justify your position as lazy

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  37. Jeff Spector on October 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Really? it’s your post and you didn’t even discuss the etymology of the term. You just declared it racist and now, when challenged, you will not engage. fine, don’t. It’s OK.

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  38. Heber13 on October 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    If there were no Cowboys, Yankees, Rebels, Fighting Irish, or Mariners, I could sympathize with a oversight in the past of targeting minority groups and treating them like an object instead of respectfully using references to them. But we don’t have that scenario.

    A mascot is supposed to bring good luck. And it is a marketing tool.

    Sometimes we take all the fun out of things when we get so serious about it.

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  39. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    As a blong Greek I really did not like “Spartans” as a mascot.

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  40. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 16, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Darn autocorrect. Blond. (Not blind either). (Gee, what does my phone have against the word blond?).

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  41. Douglas on October 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    #21 – Heretic, does Jim Thorpe ring a bell?

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  42. Mormon Heretic on October 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Yes Douglas. Jim Thorpe died in 1953. Jim Plunkett last played almost 30 years ago (1986). Name a current Native American athlete anywhere close to as good as either of these guys.

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  43. Jeff Spector on October 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Here’s a partial list:

    Whether they are better or more well-known is dependent on which sport you follow. I follow Hockey so I know all those guys. And since Jim Thorpe is historical, he might be better known for that reason than he was in his day. Though, I know I am being a bit lazy here.

    • Ross Anderson – Speed Skiing – 28 year old Cheyenne-Arapaho / Mescalero Apache athlete who has the distinction of being the world’s fastest Native American.
    • Alvina Begay, 26, distance runner (Navajo): 2008 Olympic hopeful from Ganado, Ariz.; won 13 titles; graduated from Adams State (Colo.) College in 2003.
    • Nadia Begay, 21, basketball (Navajo): 5-9 senior guard for Boise State from Kirtland, N.M.; New Mexico state high school player of the year as a senior; not related to Alvina.
    • Notah Begay III, 34, pro golfer (Navajo-San Felipe-Isleta): Won four PGA Tour titles, last in 2000; earned $5.1 mil ion; teammate of Tiger Woods at Stanford. Not related to Nadia or Alvina.
    • Brett Bucktooth, 23, pro lacrosse player (Onondaga): Rookie in 2006 for Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse; had 14 goals in seven games; attended Syracuse.
    • Mike Chavez, 23, basketbal (Crow, Northern Cheyenne): 6-7 senior forward at Montana from Heart Butte, where he led Blackfeet Reservation teams to three state high school titles.
    • Mike Edwards, 45, pro bowler (Cherokee): Joined PBA Tour in 1981; has one title (in 1994); became PBA’s 33rd career mil ionaire in 2005-06.
    • Clint Harry, 26, professional rodeo (Pyramid Lake Paiute): Joined Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2000; team roping (heeler); career earnings: $63,637.
    • Brandon Leslie, 29, distance runner (Navajo): Eight-time Al -American at Adams State (Colo.) College; 10,000-meter outdoor champion in 2000 Division II; 2008 Olympic hopeful.
    • Kyle Lohse, 28, pro baseball (Nomlaki): Right-handed pitcher; went 5-10 with 5.83 ERA for Cincinnati Reds in 2006; 54-62 career record.
    • Kelvin Sampson, 51, Indiana University men’s basketball coach (Lumbee): Also coached at Montana Tech, Washington State and Oklahoma; played baseball and basketball at North Carolina Pembroke.
    • Dudley Yazzie, 24, boxer (Navajo): 2008 Olympic hopeful in light heavyweight division from Chinle, Ariz.
    • Ted Nolan – Ojibwa, Head Coach, New York Islanders
    • Aaron Asham – Metis – New York Islanders,
    • Rene Bourque – Metis – Chicago, Blackhawks
    • Jonathan Cheechoo – Cree, San Jose Sharks,
    • D.J. King – Metis – St. Louis Blues,
    • Cody McCormick – Chippewa, Mohawk – Colorado Avalanche
    • Wade Redden – Ottawa Senators
    • Jamie Rivers – Huron – St. Louis Blues
    • Chris Simon – Ojibwa – New York Islanders
    • Sheldon Souray – Metis – Montreal Canadians
    • Jordin Tootoo – Inuit – Nashville Predators

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  44. Mormon Heretic on October 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    The only person I’ve ever heard of on that list was Kelvin Sampson because he coached Indiana. Pro rodeo? Bowling? Boxing? Running? That’s where we pulling these out of?

    Kyle Lohse with a 54-62 record is no Jim Thorpe or Jim Plunkett, though he probably has the most success of anyone on your list. I like hockey too, but we all know that hockey is much lower in popularity than MLB, NBA, or NFL. I’d be more impressed if there were more recognizable names in more recognizable sports. Rene Bourque sounds almost like Ray Bourque, but something tells me Rene is no where close to Ray. Heck I’d take someone as good as Mario Lemieux or Mark Messier or someone like that in the NHL, but this list has guys who are no where close as good as Lemieux or Messier. It’s the white Canadians, Russians, and Europeans that dominate the NHL, not blacks, asians, or native Americans.

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  45. Jeff Spector on October 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Of course, another poo, poo. There are some future hall of famers on that Hockey list and I know that many Canadians and Americans are proud of their native citizen making good in their respective sports.

    I guess I should have know it would not have been good enough.

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  46. Rigel Hawthorne on October 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    “Only 310 American Indians were among the 70,856 college athletes in Division I who received athletic aid in the 1998-99 school year, the most recent data compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. While American Indians make up about 1 percent of the country’s population, according to the 2000 Census, they account for only four-tenths of a percent of the scholarship athletes at the major college level.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/17/sports/in-the-shadows-a-special-report-off-field-hurdles-stymie-indian-athletes.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    This article is now old, but documents the challenges faced by dominant Native American High school athletes. Note this quote regarding Kyle Goklish:

    Kyle Goklish was a five-sport star at Alchesay High School on the Apache reservation. As an 8-year-old, he received a running start on a stellar sports career when his parents, in an effort to take the edge off his energy, drove their truck up a mountain road behind their wood-frame house and dropped off him and his little brother. His parents drove half a mile up the incline and watched as their sons churned dust to catch up. ”They were trying to tire us out,” Goklish said, ”and it worked.”

    Soon, Goklish was pouring his kinetic drive into high school sports. He played quarterback and point guard, and set state records as a distance runner at the Class AAA level, for midsize schools. He picked up the trombone, all while maintaining an A average in school. But he was not courted seriously by any major college when he graduated in 1999.

    ”If I’d been from a different school, in a different place, it wouldn’t have been that way,” Goklish said. ”When you’re from a reservation, you’re being judged before anyone meets you. The recruiters see us from a Hollywood stereotype of the drunken Indian. They think we’re lazy, not worth the scholarship.”

    For the past two years, Goklish attended Central Arizona College, a junior college near Casa Grande. He had a 3.7 grade point average, and he placed second in the junior college national cross-country championships last fall.

    Finally, Goklish had accomplished enough to prove himself. In April, six Division I universities offered him full scholarships. He signed a letter of intent to run track for the University of Arizona.

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  47. mh on October 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Who is going to the hall of fame?

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  48. Mormon Heretic on October 17, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I know this is off topic, but Oregon plans to wear pink helmets and socks for it’s football game this Saturday to support Women’s Breast Cancer Month. See http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9837723/oregon-ducks-wear-pink-helmets-vs-washington-state-cougars

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  49. Douglas on October 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    #48 – what color should they wear for raising ‘awareness’ for testicular cancer? Never mind, maladies unique to men aren’t politically correct.
    I do like “support the ta-tas” campaign..with all due respect to David Keith’s character in “Officer and a Gentleman”, that’s all I (legitimately) get. My g/f ensures that (won’t elaborate). My first wife has struggled with breast cancer, she braved going thru chemo to attend our son’s college graduation recently.

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  50. Jeff Spector on October 18, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Wade Redden will probably go and Sheldon Souray could go.

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  51. Amanda on October 21, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    A “cowboy” is an occupation so, IMO, calling a team by that name is not offensive. You can choose your occupation. As someone of Japanese ancestry, I would not be amused or flattered by a sports team featuring an obnoxious caricature of an Asian person as their mascot and an Asian slur for their name. Just because someone who isn’t of Japanese ancestry isn’t offended by the name wouldn’t mean my own reaction would be wrong. It just means they (thanks to lack of empathy?) don’t get it.

    As for oversensitivity, I can’t get why folks are so wrapped up in not changing the name. If someone told me something I did inadvertently but greatly offended them, I’d do what I could to make things right. Digging your heels in and telling the person their feelings are invalid says more about you than it does the person making the request. We’d really choose to invest in sports team names rather than peoples’ feelings?

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  52. Douglas on October 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    #51 – The fans of the team in question and of the league it plays in make the choice. If you don’t like their mascot/logo, for pity’s sake, don’t attend their games or watch them on TV, don’t buy their merchandise, and if you’re THAT offended, then write their sponsors and let them know how you feel! In the end, it IS about the money, and if there’s enough of a hue and cry (grossly misplaced, I would think, but I’m a 49er fan anyway…), it’ll change for THAT reason, not b/c a small knot of self-important snots think they can bully others to get their own way.

    The end result of all that “Indian activism” will be to denigrate our “Original Americans” (I like that as a generic term) to the status of victimhood, which has ill-served whatever group has embraced it. The average “Indian”, though the treatment of his kind since Europeans conquered this land “fair and square” (thank you, the late SI Hayakawa, a Japanese-American), has likely fared far more free and prosperous than anytime between Laman and Lemuel up to Christopher Columbus. I defy anyone to find a better fate for a “conquered” peoples, save for that of the Greeks by the Romans in 146 BC.

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  53. Mormon Heretic on October 26, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Jeff, if Wade Redden goes to the HoF, they have a pretty low bar.

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  54. Mormon Heretic on February 10, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Two senators are threatening the NFL over the Redskins name. See http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10430475/senator-threatens-nfl-tax-exempt-status-washington-redskins-name

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  55. New Iconoclast on February 10, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Watch this one: Proud to Be

    I think they can leave the legal name as “Redskins,” but all of us should adopt a new nickname for common use in the news and in public discourse, to honor the team owners, and just call them the “Washington Shitweasels.”

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  56. Mormon Heretic on April 7, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Now the Cleveland Indians are getting the treatment: See http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10747462

    Plus there’s a lot of other history that I didn’t know…..

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