Executives of pro sports clubs often say, “Native American team names mean honor and respect.” But history tells a different tale. While more than two-thirds of high schools and colleges have changed their nicknames and logos from Native American imagery, five pro sports clubs and a few colleges, have held steady. In all instances these names in my opinion are problematic. Unfortunately, my favorite NFL team is the worst of them all when it comes to offensive names, and logo. In this article I’m going to shed some light on some sports teams with with problematic names and logos.
Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Their mascots name is “Chief Wahoo”. What I find funny is that if you go on the team website, clevelandindians.com, you won’t see the mascot present, just the “C” logo. The actual logo has had many changes over the years, one worst than the next. Their mascot has a cartoon like, red-faced, big nose, wide grin, and a feather to top it all off. The name alone is bad, but depicting Native Americans as savages with that logo? Come on man.
It’s extremely common for fans to show up in “red face” which is extremely disrespectful; the Indians organization JUST changed their logo to the “C” in 2014.
Chicago Black Hawks (NHL)
This logo hasn’t changed at all. If anything they just updated it’s “Native” look. The logo depicts a Native American man’s head covered in war paint. Similar Supporters of the logo have claimed it honors Native Americans as “courageous” and “noble”. Even though everything associated with the logo is used in the context of fighting and war, pretty much saying Native Americans only lived for war. American society brought Native people to the edge of extinction, and then created a false version of them to be a source of entertainment. Only to be portrayed as “noble savages”. Their have been fan petitions to have the logo removed, but to no avail.
Florida State Seminoles (CFB)
Nicknamed the Seminoles; Mascot named Chief Osceola, who is a non-Native American, dressed in full Native attire and rides around the stadium on a horse named “Renegade”. He has a flaming spear, which he plants in the middle of the field, while screaming his head off mocking Native-Americans. College students just take this to the next level. “War paint” smeared on their faces, dressed in a headdress, wielding tomahawks, while doing the “tomahawk chop”. Florida State JUST banned students from wearing headdresses to the games last year. This type of problematic behavior can’t be tolerated. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J20wsKNV0NI[/embedyt]
Washington Redskins (NFL)
The name says it all. The Redskins. It doesn’t get more racist than that. Native Americans officially demanded a change of the name and thousands of them signed petitions and went to the Supreme Court to have the name changed. Owner Dan Snyder has gone to war, literally, to have the name stay the same. In 2017 the team won the trademark fight over the teams name, which nearly began 25 years ago. For the last 80 years the logo and the mascot have super racial undertones. Unfortunately doesn’t look like the Redskins name will be going anywhere for a long time, but that doesn’t mean we should still put up with it.
As long as it’s sports related, the mass will not care how problematic the mascot or logo may be. People will come out Monday through Sunday to watch these teams. They need that hour or so to forget about their problems, whether their team’s representation may have undertones of racism or not-who cares? As long as the fans reach that sense of enjoyment, right?