Monday, May 16, 2005

NCAA addresses Indian Nicknames

The NCAA announced today that it is contemplating how to manage the issue of college teams that continue to use nicknames taken from reference to Indian tribes (Redmen, Utes, Savages, Braves, etc.).

Native American coalitions have asked the NCAA repeatedly to ask its member schools to drop these nicknames. They are seen by Native peoples as derogatory and offensive. Schools, of course, claim that adopting these nicknames is a tribute to the spirit of Native Americans.

Ah, nothing like a little cultural appropriation after you've practiced genocide to try to make up for your actions. I'm sure there are colleges all over Germany with nicknames like "Jews," "Hebrews," "Gypsies," and "Slavs." Those nicknames would certainly honour the spirit of the murdered souls, don't you think?
I'm not sure why this is so difficult for school administrators to get. After all, Stanford made the change years ago, and there doesn't seem to have been a complete collapse of fan loyalty now that it's the Cardinal.

When the NCAA dealt with schools that continue to use the Confederate flag in their school flags, its decision was that schools could continue to participate in their conferences, but various levels of NCAA championships could not take place at those schools. That's quite a financial hit if you are not able to host a regional tournament in a revenue sport.

Now, faced with what is sure to be a hot-button issue, the NCAA is getting ready (after four years of study) to issue recommendations about how to change school mascots and names.

I know that one of the arguments is that no one is asking schools to change their names if they are called the "Spartans" or "Trojans." But those universities do not sit in the middle of conquered or stolen or swindled land, do not sit next to reservations where those native peoples live in some of the worst states of poverty in the country, are not seen as affronts to the people they are meant to honour.

It is time for the NCAA to deal with this matter firmly. There should be penalties attached to Indian nicknames. If you know, for example, that the name of your team hurts the people who are supposedly meant to be honoured by it, why would you resist changing the name?


Anonymous said...

Lorraine: Is there a single subject under the general penumbra of political correctness for which you have not watered the earth with your tears? You're beginning to come across as a sour, old hag.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Why don't you fuck off? Is that sour enough for you?

aqualung said...

Anonymous (now that takes balls, calling yourself that) makes the rules in this free society. C'mon Lorraine, don't you know that? He (she?) decrees that you only get to write about things that make you HAPPY! You should ignore all the racism, sexism, homophobia, hypocrisy, violence and lies being rammed down your throat by people like him! Afterall, being satisfied by the current state of affairs in this country and world reinforces the status quo butchery of the political Right (sic). So Lorraine, sweetie, get in the game. All is well, there is no reason to be concerned about any of this. Now Lorraine, honey, drink the KoolAid that the nice man in the brown suit is handing out, and run along. Be nice now, girl. Hear?

Anonymous said...

If she's being serious, listen to Aqualung

aqualung said...

Sarcasm is obviously lost on Anonymous. Maybe s/he should change her/is name to "Clueless". Seems more accurate to me.

1138 said...

Anonymous certainly needs a name change, but the name that comes to mind is another that starts with A... Asshole.
Why Anonymous do you think the KKK wears (not wore, still wears) hoods?
To be Anonymous.

Some Guy said...

Anonymous et al: Lorraine is my hero. She speaks the truth and if you don't like it you should go to Wendy's and get a finger in your chili.

I love it when people don't even have the balls to post with their username. Shows how much confidence they have in themselves. Maybe they should sign in as "scared little pussycat" or something.
Just a thought.

Snave said...

A high school in a fairly isolated rural area of NE Oregon (about an hour from where I live) has had the team nickname "Savages" for years, and of course their mascot has been a Native American. Ick. When local Native Americans (Nez Perce) made an issue of this, you should have seen how the "good old boys" of the town reacted. If I remember correctly, a school board member who supported changing the mascot/team name ended up resigning due to community pressure.

Finally, the town has come to its senses, and the students of the school chose the new nickname, "Outlaws". It figures they would choose a nickname that's fairly synonymous with "bad guys", but oh well.

Another one I heard about once, and which I still can't believe was real, was the mascot for the high school in Orofino, Idaho. The story goes there was a mental institution there, and the mascot/nickname was "Maniacs". Supposedly the name was changed.

In Richland, WA (near the Hanford Nuclear reservation) the Richland High School team nickname is "Bombers", and a logo in their gym read "Nuke 'Em!"

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Hope that helps

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