From Indians to Redskins : is it time to stop using Native American names in sports?
by cec7795 on November 7, 2016 - 11:39pm
the article I choose to read was “Reflections on the Symposium on Racist Stereotypes in American Sport at the National Museum of the American Indian” the author Richard King talks about how while on the surface this may seem like a straight forward issue but it has some unexplored complexities. Every year around the time that football starts up again I will turn on ESPN or some other major sports network and here them talking about the Washington Redskins and wether or not this will be the year they will change there name. Sports fans for the most part know the answer already since the owner Dan Snyder who has owned the team since 1964 refuse to change the name and says that it is not racist of disrespectful of Native American culture. However they are far from being the only team name based Native Americans that could be considered racists. In Kings article talks about how this is not only a problem on a professional sports level but this also applies through almost ever level of sport including high school and college. In another article written by Hayley Munguia on FiveThirtyEight.com there are around 2,100 other teams that names or mascots that are connected to Native Americans. The teams that use this mascots all seem to suggest that they are doing it to memorialize or celebrate native americans and while this may be true, teams like the Washington Redskins and Carthage College Red Men seem more like a form harassment and discrimination. In more recent years there has been some success in changing names of some college and high school team names the problems seem to be in larger colleges or pro sports where it is next to impossible to even bring the issue or protest to the team. Another reason this issue seems to get overlooked or dismissed is that sometimes these teams get backing from certain tribes because unlike the Redskins, they use specific tribe names that would not really be considered racist. Going into this article I thought that this might be a black and white situation where you either support the use of these names and mascots or you don’t, it seems however like with most things that there is some grey area. My question is if teams like the Redskins and Carthage College Red Men where forced to change there names should theses other teams that are in the grey area be forced to change their’s as well? Where should we draw the line when in comes to naming teams and basing mascots on another people culture?