Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sports team names, racism and media perception.

I'm going to be blunt. Why are non-pejorative sports team nicknames based on Native American themes racist? Protest groups go beyond the pejorative names to say that names like Braves, Chiefs, Indians and Warriors are derogatory to Native American peoples. The claim is made that using these names in conjunction with smiling caricatures like the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo is demeaning to these people. 

So isn't it hypocritical that these groups are represented by smiling Native American spokespeople who stand in front of these "offensive smiling caricatures?"


alex-ness said...

I would ask if there are reasons we need to objectify one group of people. That is, do we see the Brooklyn Blacks, the Washington State Whites, The Alabama Asians?

Why Native Americans or American Indians, if they prefer one over the other?

I accept Vikings, Braves, Warriors as all presenting an image of something powerful and positive and one that is anything but denigrating. But the names of the SIoux or Seminoles or Blackhawks or Indians, what is the value of that outside of the assumed association with the warrior values of those tribes in the past?

Swine Student Wertz said...

I think you hit the reason with your statement about the Vikings, Braves, etc.. When we picture the Sioux or Seminoles or Blackhawks, we picture brave warriors, strong fighters, cunning leaders, etc... things we look for in our sports figures. And we honor that they were local to those areas, maybe. I don't know, I wasn't there, but that is the drift I get. I don't think it was in any way denigrating, why would you want to name your team in some way that is a put down or implies inferiority?

Paul Ewert said...

So how do we justify the objectification of Christianity with teams named Angels, Padres or Saints? Is it simply by accepting that the Pope doesn't object to the use, or misuse, of these names?

kurt wilcken said...

How dare she be smiling? Doesn't she know that she's supposed to be scowling and stern? What hypocrisy!

Perhaps if we hadn't driven them off their lands, waged war on them, forced them to adopt our language and culture and killed most of them off, they might better appreciate the tremendous honor we bestow upon them by appropriating their names as mascots for our sports entertainment complexes.