Should Sports Teams Be Allowed To Use Native American Mascots?

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Should Sports Teams Be Allowed To Use Native American Mascots?

Owen Willis, Journalist

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Is it offensive for Sports to use Native American names and mascots? This question has arisen many times and gone on for many years and we still don’t know what is going to happen. Will they be allowed to keep the team name that they have had since the beginning of their teams? Or will the natives not be able to put up with these offensive names any longer and not allow these names to be around anymore. 

We see many examples of these teams in many leagues but let’s start by naming the teams with these offensive names in major pro sports. MLB: Atlanta Braves and the Clevland Indians. NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-which stadium’s name is Arrowhead Stadium and the Washington Redskins. NHL: Chicago Blackhawks. These are all major sports teams in America that use these offensive native American names. This can be very offensive to the natives in a way that they are using the name for the cool logo or cool name, but what they don’t realize that they are stealing their heritage. It started when President Obama said that if he became the owner of the Washington Redskins, he would change the name. “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” Obama said in an interview, from the New York Times. This states it perfectly saying that the heritage and the opinion of the people who were on this land first, override the fact of the legal name of a sports team, that can be changed at any time. The Redskins get the most attention because they are the NFL team in the nation’s capital, that is where the most attention is based. But other teams like the Clevland Indians get just as much attention, both teams have an offensive logo as well as a Chief or Native Warrior. 

But then again, these teams have had their name like that for many years and have had many great teams with that name and even some championships. So, if you change their name these teams could be forgotten, and kids and some adults will have to look up their names, and that is not how you want to be remembered. Also, they might have to take down all championship banners with that name on it because it resembles that team. But that won’t matter, these team names are offensive and regardless, they need to go away because the Native people deserve respect because we have already been taken from their land, so they deserve to earn just a little bit of respect, and it can be as easy as changing these offensive names. The high school, college, and minor league football teams are leading the way by eliminating these names. According to the Washington Post, a high school in Idaho that had the name Redskins since 1929, retired the name, that shows that a name with tons of history can retire an offensive name, with ease.  

This shows that no matter the history or what has happened to the franchise. It is easy to change these offensive names, in respect of the native. 

 

Gonchar, Michael. “Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Oct. 2013, learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/08/is-it-offensive-for-sports-teams-to-use-native-american-names-and-mascots/. 

Board, E. (2019, August 17). Opinion | Schools in 2 states just retired Native American mascots. The D.C. NFL team should take note. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/schools-in-2-states-just-retired-native-american-mascots-the-dc-nfl-team-should-take-note/2019/08/17/9368827a-8c53-11e9-adf3-f70f78c156e8_story.html.