American Indian Sports Team Mascots

>>> Change the Mascot  <<<


The Spanish Fork Press, July 22, 1909
"For many years there had been suspended from a smoke-stained beam...a trophy of the early days he had spent on the shore of the lake.  It was an Indian's scalp."

"'You ask me why I keep that thing in the house?   When I first came here...I hadn't but one white man for a neighbor and he lived two miles away...But I had plenty of another kind.  There were wild beasts and savages on all sides, and there were times when they both gave me lots of trouble.   With the beasts I could get along pretty well...But with the redskins it was different.  It wasn't no use to try and thin them out, although there was times when I had to try my hand at it...You never could tell for a certainty when they were friendly to you or when they were waiting for a good chance to take your scalp....The redskin looked as ugly as p'izen.  "'White man let it alone or Injun have his scalp' he cried, as he drew his knife."  'You'll have to take it first, you thieving redskin', said I."      From the Library of Congress -  The Spanish Fork Press, July 22, 1909  

This 1909 story from Utah  illustrates how the dehumanizing ethnic slur exploited by the Washington, D.C., NFL team was used in popular culture,  the legacy of which continues to this day.    Besides being a form of symbolic slavery that allows users to define, exploit, and manipulate concepts about both historic and living Native Peoples, the institutionalized use of stereotypical "Indian" sports team tokens may also be thought to serve as symbolic war trophies.

Goto News Headlines

Complete Text United States Commission on Civil Rights  Position Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols Summary of the American Psychological Association  Resolution Recommending Retirement of American Indian Mascots

N
ational Congress  of American Indians Position Statement  - "Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful 'Indian' Sports Mascots

The NCAI is the largest, oldest, and most representative of all American Indian advocacy organizations
United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET)  resolution calling on the National Football League to end the use of the Washington, D.C.  racially offensive slur team name.   USET

Inter-Tribal mascot resolution by the Seminole, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Muskogee Nations  "representing over 400,000 people throughout the United States"

Resolution by the American Counseling Association calling for the elimination of stereotypic American Indian imagery Council of the American Sociological Association Statement  on Discontinuing the Use of Native American Nicknames, Logos and Mascots in Sport
National Indian Education Association resolution calling "for the immediate elimination of race-based Indian logos, mascots, and names from educational institutions throughout the Nation."

Study:  The Psychological Consequences of American Indian Mascots

World Wide Web Exclusive!! 
 
Of Polls and Race Prejudice: Sports Illustrated "Errant 'Indian Wars'"  also see
2004 Annenberg Survey Designers Acknowledge Invalid Results
and
11 Reasons to Ignore the old 2004 Annenberg Survey 
About the Washington Football Team’s Offensive Name
  

Educators' Resources
Scholarly articles, resolutions, 
school related material
Dozens of Resolutions and 
More Educator Resources
Psychological aspects 
A summary of some primary psychological issues related to the use of "Indian" sports team tokens
Frequently Asked Questions 
"There is today no single word more offensive to Indian people then the term "redskins," a racial epithet..."     Vine Deloria Jr. 

 

"Offensive Slang: Used as a disparaging term for a Native American"  

"dated:  offensive an American Indian" 

Slang: "Often Disparaging and Offensive"     

Yahoo Education  

Oxford Dictionaries    Dictionary.com  
"An American Indian: now considered by many to be an offensive term" 

"Offensive Slang:  "Used as a disparaging term for a Native American"

"usually offensive"   

Your Dictionary   

 The Free Dictionary

 Mirriam-Webster

Bing Search for Recent American Indian Sports Team Mascots Related News Articles

>>> Redsk*n Article Archives from <<<
>>> Indian Country Today <<<

.

Washington NFL team's 
"Lone Star Dietz" was  a fraud

Team's first owner, George Preston Marshall, was an avowed racist and proud segregationist whose choice of team name has earned him the label of "the most notable and influential racist 
in NFL history."

Timeline: A Century of Racist Sports Team Names

Salon - Nothing scarier than a nervous white man: The “Redsk*ns” debate is really about white privilege  The debate about the Washington Redsk*ns name is all wrong: It's really a symbol of white fear in a changing nation

Google Search for Recent American Indian Sports Team Mascots Related News Articles

"What is needed down there is some wholesome discipline for rampant redskins.  The proportion of flour, bacon and blankets issued to them is out of the proportion to the metallic cartridges administered in the way that would do them the most good."

From the Library of Congress: 
St. Paul Daily Globe., June 24, 1885

Oneida Sponsored 30-Page Study Yields Scientific Evidence Showing "Indian" mascots Harm Native Americans

06/04/14 - Survey Shows 67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘Redskins’ Is Offensive      Washington, D.C./National
The survey's findings from The Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at California State University, San Bernardino

                                                         Oct. 2013 Washington, D.C. Poll Results 
* 59% Agreed that if referred to as a "redsk*n" a Native American person has the right to feel offended.
* 55% Stated that as a fan  it would not make any difference to them if the Washington NFL team changed its name.
* 58% Stated they would feel comfortable if  the Washington NFL team changed its name.


In a 2001 survey by Indian Country Today, 81 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans.

"28 schools in 18 states were once the Redskins, but now currently use another mascot.   Capital News Service fact‒checked  data and found that the Washington Redskins had overstated the number of schools using the name."

Dear Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, Roger Goodell, NFL, MLB, and all relevant others large and small:   

        So-called "good" intentions or "context" do not matter one bit when the final outcomes arising from the institutionalized, race-related practices you clearly endorse and promote have negative impacts on real, living American Indian people, especially children, adolescents and teens.  

        It is one thing to claim innocent ignorance concerning such things.   It is quite another to continue the practices after having been told for years by many highly respected American Indian, civil rights, religious, and education organizations about the problems such actions, and by extension, you now personally cause.    The damaging practices have therefore become willful on your part and no amount of denials, public relations gimmicks, cherry picking, high-priced lawyers or slick rationalizations can change that.     Such tangible actions speak much louder than hollow, even if genuinely well-meaning words about "tradition" and "showing respect."   How can you be "honoring" someone when they are telling you that what you're doing is hurtful to them?  

        The long overdue time has come to do the right and honorable thing.   Stop stereotyping,  dehumanizing, and exploiting American Indian peoples for your sports entertainment, self-inflation, and financial gain.  Stop bringing shame on yourselves, your leagues, teams, schools, communities, and our nation.   The embarrassment and humiliation you cause yourselves will only increase and get worse the longer you delay.   Time is not your ally but rather something that works against you.

        Get on the right side of history.   Embrace progress.    Promote justice and unity.   American Indian peoples past and present are not mascots for big business or fun and games.      Retire your outdated, harmful, race-related practices now!

>>> NEWS <<<

University of Kansas - Research shows prejudice, not principle, often underpins 'free-speech defense' of racist language

===============================================================================================================
===============================================================================================================

08/02/18 - I wore a 'Caucasians' shirt to expose the hypocrisy of racist logos              Washington, DC/National

08/02/18 - Report: US News Media Part of the Problem in Misunderstanding Native Americans           National

07/31/18 - 'Black Panther Challenge' creator ramps up pressure on Redskins with 'Caucasians' T-shirts            Washington, DC/National

07/27/18 - Public school accepts over $300,000 from Native American Heritage Fund to change ethnic slur team name         Michigan

07/24/18 - Sidelining the Redskins – How US sports are facing an identity crisis         National

07/23/18 - Going 'Native': Why Are Americans Hijacking Cherokee Identity?           National

07/18/18 - Research reveals media role in stereotypes about Native Americans          National

07/18/18 - Out of respect for local tribe, city will remove a stained glass window that depicts the battle at Battle Creek          Michigan

07/16/18 - Grants remove offensive Native American imagery               Michigan

07/12/18 - Kingsport City Schools keeps Redskins and Warriors team names                  Tennessee

07/06/18 - When Souvenirs Peddle Stereotypes                   New York

07/05/18 - National Education Association annual meeting passes measure urging removal of Native American mascots              National

06/30/18 - Native American Group Seeks District Mascot Change                   Ohio

06/28/18 - They wept at thought of losing the 'R' word; why it's about more than a mascot                 Anderson Township, Ohio/National

06/22/18 - Newfoundland coat of arms depicting ‘noble savage’ faces redesign                        Newfoundland, Canada

06/20/18 - Oregon teacher claims district's mascot violates state rules                   Oregon

06/19/18 - Our View: Wells schools due cheers for team mascot vote                Maine


06/15/18 - Diehard Skowhegan becomes the  last public school in Maine to hold on to an "Indian" sports team mascot           Maine

06/15/18 - San Francisco Board of Appeals to reconsider vote blocking removal of controversial ‘Early Days’ statue            California    

06/14/18 - Ohio school keeps racist mascot after mob of angry parents shout down ‘politically correct bullies’   Cincinnati, Ohio

06/14/18 - President of private school apologizes for use of Native American slurs and tribe names at its summer camp         Louisiana

06/13/18 - Native American imagery to be removed from Wells schools                   Maine

06/12/18 - Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, opts to keep its "Redskins"  ethnic slur sports team name              Ohio

06/12/18 - New Orleans parent slams Kehoe-France summer camp for use of Native American slurs          Louisiana

06/09/18 - 23 foot tall fiberglass "Indian" used by car dealership for 50 years removed after employee incident                   North Carolina

06/08/18 - School district bordering Mohawk reservation keeps its "Red Raiders" team name but changes its mascot to a "Spartan"      New York

06/07/18 - Fake Pensacola Mayoki Indians tribe sparks outrage on social media                  Florida

06/06/18 - Mayor says Indians are right on ‘redface’           Jackson, Wyoming 

06/05/18 - First Nations Youth Hockey Team racially taunted at tournament, called savages           Canada      

06/03/18 - NC dealership to remove giant Native American 'Chief Pontiac' statue after 'ugly' incident               North Carolina

06/01/18 - Redskins Front-Office Executive Resigns After Cheerleading Scandal                           Washington, DC/National

06/01/18 - Complaints lead covered wagon" cook-out business to drop non-Native "red face" Indians from its parade entries           Wyoming

05/30/18 - Some of Jackson’s holiday celebrations include a racist component                Wyoming

05/30/18 - Actors’ use of redface sparks public outcry           Wyoming

05/27/18 - Dispute highlights North Dakota's tough sell of new nickname          University of North Dakota,  Grand Forks, North Dakota

05/27/18 - Chief concerns: Native American mascots under increasing scrutiny          Ohio

05/25/18 - WHS mascot committee: Stop use of Native American imagery              Maine

05/24/18 - Wells teams should still be the Warriors, panel recommends, but stop using Native American imagery         Maine

05/24/18 - Massena Central School District announces Spartan as new mascot, keeps "Red Raiders" name                New York

05/18/18 - Supporters hope to keep 'Fighting Illini,' reinvent Chief Illiniwek                  University of Illinois, Champaign,  Illinois

05/17/18 - SDSU to keep Aztec name following racially and politically charged debate             California

05/14/18 - In Our View: Nicknames Worthy Topic                     Washington

05/10/18 - Reporter Takes Deep-Dive Into Illini Country In Search Of Chief                      University of Illinois, Champaign,  Illinois

05/08/18 - Consensus at forum: Keep Warriors at Wells High School, but not the imagery                Maine

05/07/18 - America's largest public health philanthropy will no longer honor sports teams with racist mascots              National

05/07/18 - Tomahawk Chops and Indian Mascots, Vanishing From U.S. Stadiums, Live On in Europe                 National/Europe

05/05/18 - Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Bill Recognizing Native American Day             Oklahoma

05/03/18 - NFL player calls his former Washington, DC, team's logo racist          Washington, DC

05/03/18 - Why the cheerleader scandal should be enough to oust Redskins' owner Dan Snyder                   Washington, DC/National
(3m4s video from USA Today) 


05/02/18 - Report: Redskins Cheerleaders Felt Team Was 'Pimping' Them Out On 2013 Costa Rica Trip                   Washington, DC/National

05/01/18 - Decades of debate over Native American nicknames                  Illinois

05/01/18 - Debate over Anderson High Redskin mascot gets louder, more incensed and no closer to resolution               Ohio

04/30/18 - Maine West High School retires American Indian mascot following debate over use               Illinois

04/30/18 - Anderson High debates changing Redskins mascot             Ohio

04/29/18 - Native American-themed floats subject to stricter review after 2017 Vigilante Parade controversy               Montana
 
04/27/18 - Kalamazoo Removes Sculpture Depicting Armed White Settler Towering Over a Native American                Michigan

04/26/18 - The hidden history of Indigenous stereotypes in tabletop games               United States/International

04/20/18 - Napa High starts process to replace Indian name and logo; students will make final decision                        California

04/19/18 - San Francisco board votes to keep controversial statue                    California

04/19/18 - Controversial Fountain Showing Armed White Settler and Native American Will Be Removed and Preserved             Michigan

04/19/18 - On Exhibit: Native American stereotypes stirred up              New York

04/16/18 - MLB pulls Chief Wahoo-Jackie Robinson caps                    Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/13/18 - A new perspective on the Champlain monument                    New York

04/11/18 - New Research Shows How Native American Mascots Reinforce Stereotypes                        National

04/07/18 - Indians Fans Taunt, Mock, And Scream Obscenities At Native American Protesters At Home Opener       Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/07/18 - Chief Wahoo removal by Indians not enough for logo foes                  Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/07/18 - The Pro-Chief Wahoo Rally Was a Couple of Dudes Standing Around for a Minute               Cleveland, Ohio      

04/07/18 -Maine West High School re-examining American Indian mascot after social media criticism             Illinois

04/06/18 - Cherokee Endorsement Of Maine West Warrior Mascot Questioned              Illinois

04/06/18 - Chief Wahoo makes last Opening Day appearance on a Tribe uniform              Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/05/18 - Pro-Wahoo Fanatics to Stage Pro-Wahoo Rally at Indians Home Opener              Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/05/18 - Cleveland Indians drop old logo after 2018                Cleveland, Ohio/National

04/04/18 - Native American Lacrosse Teams Reported Racial Abuse. Then Their League Expelled Them.       South Dakota

04/03/18 - 'Critical conversation' on Chief to feature two prominent guest speakers            Champaign, Illinois

04/02/18 - School board discusses Anderson High School's 'Redskins' name             Ohio

04/01/08 - First it was Confederate monuments. Now statues offensive to Native Americans are poised to topple across the U.S.
California/National

04/01/18 - Board plans to meet with Anderson High School over Redskins mascot           Ohio


For many more news articles visit  the
Archives Section.

Cleveland, Ohio April 4, 2014 Nationally syndicated cartoon 2002


Click on image or follow this link to a collection of  American Indian sports team mascot related cartoons.

August 2000
Hank Aaron Steps Up to the Plate on the Use of Native American Names and Mascots in Sport

1937 - 1960
I
ndex of Animated Warner Brothers 
Cartoons
  Depicting "Indians"

For more resolutions and related information visit the Educators' and More Educators' Resources sections By exploiting and fueling a divisive controversy that Dartmouth College willfully helped to create, The Dartmouth Review  featured the above image and headline in its 11/28/06 edition.
The following categories provide useful information but are dormant and have not been kept current

Educators' Resources
Scholarly articles, resolutions, 
school related material

Psychological aspects 
A summary of some primary psychological issues related to the use of "Indian" sports team tokens

Archives
Past news articles, videos, books, etc.,

Chronology
Documenting many significant events over more than 30 year
Get Involved Now! Lists of "Indian" mascot users  
List of organizations  endorsing changes to "Indian" sports team, logos, mascots, nicknames, and symbols Trailblazers
List of schools and Others 
That Have Changed "Indian" Mascots
Related links
 Issue specific, American Indian, propaganda, and human rights
Site map
List of major headings and items found on this site
Action Alert   
Notices of events and activities
 


"...[M]ascot came into English as a borrowing of the French word mascotte, meaning ‘mascot, charm.’ The English word is first recorded in 1881 shortly after the French word, itself first recorded in 1867, was popularized by the opera La Mascotte, performed in December 1880. The French word in turn came from the Modern Provençal word mascoto, ‘piece of witchcraft, charm, amulet,’ a feminine diminutive of masco, ‘witch.’ This word can probably be traced back to Late Latin masca, ‘witch, specter.’ ...."
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright 1992


Pulp fiction novel cover
Circa 1908

"I am not a sports team mascot. With all due respect to the teams who want to honor me by having a Native American mascot, it's outdated. It's the wrong way."
Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota
U.S. gold-medal winner in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics and inspirational spokesman  (2005)

"We simply chose an Indian as the emblem. We could have just as easily chosen any uncivilized animal."
Eighth Grade student writing about his school's mascot (1997)

"We don't view it as looking down on the race...We're not trying to make light of anyone or certainly not ridiculing anyone." 
Jim Arganbright
Athletic director at Coshocton H.S., Coshocton, Ohio (2003)
which uses an "Indian head" doormat to compliment its ethnic slur nickname.

In a survey by Indian Country Today, 81 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans. 

Pulp fiction novel cover - Circa 1908


"Cowboys finish off Redskins"

Headline from a 1998 
Washington Post sports article 

Pulp fiction novel cover
Circa 1908

"The ridicule, mockery and utter racism Native Americans are subject to because of the use of Indian mascots are intolerable."
Tex Hall, President (2003-2005)
National Congress of American Indians 

"The high school's mascot is a student dressed in a buckskin outfit who wears a mask with a big nose, large lips, large eyes, big cheeks and long, black hair." "If we thought it was offensive, we wouldn't do it."
Sam Cook, Principal 
Watkins Memorial H.S.
 Pataskala, Ohio (2003)

"People have a tendency to try to make us different. We're not. We're just like all other high school kids." 
 
Chris Dunshee, Principal
Red Lake High School
Red Lake, Minnesota, where a distraught 16 year-old American Indian student committed suicide after killing five of his peers and two adults. (2005)

Some "traditions" change.

Others do not.

slave

suffrage

illiniwek

redskins

Powerpoint presentation by Che Butler and Luhui Whitebear  created for the Oregon State Education Department  (Use keyboard arrows to navigate.  Press escape to exit)

 August 2005 -  Frequently asked questions about the institutionalized use of "Indian" sports team tokens

August 5, 2005 - NCAI Applauds NCAA Decision to Ban Use of Indian Mascots in Postseason Activities  
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian organization of its kind
Complete Text United States Commission on Civil Rights Position Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols
April 2005 - Illinois University's New Nickname - "The Losers"   It's Not Just About Sports
Sept. 2004 - Schwarzenneger OKs ethnic slur: Public schools rejoice
Aug. 2004 - Washington NFL team's "Indian" namesake a fraud
 

Stereotypic "Indian head" icons like this one are among the most common and may be thought of as symbolic war trophies.


"With the hope of capitalizing on Osceola's growing fame, Weedon had the corpse of the famed war leader beheaded and laid claim to many of Osceola's personal possessions and clothes. Osceola's head passed through several hands until 1843, when it came to Dr. Valentine Mott, who put it on display and later donated it to the Medical College of New York. It disappeared following a fire in 1865." *

                                   Donald L. Fixico
Seminole, Creek, Shawnee, Sac and Fox
 Western Michigan University

*  Despite this horrific history, FSU 
continues to use a mascot called 
"Chief Osceola."


College students perform the so-called, "tomahawk chop."  This aggressive gesture, simulating the use of a weapon, originated at Florida State University and is now also seen at other public school and  professional sports venues.  Its purpose is to intimidate opponents and cheer on the fans' teams.  The "tomahawk chop" is  typically accompanied by a sing-song, Hollywood style "war chant."

According to a published news account, over the course of the school's 154 year history only 3 members of the  Seminole Tribe have graduated from FSU.   

 Other revealing insights include: 

About 75 percent of the Seminole live in Oklahoma.

There are actually three Seminole tribes in Florida and only one tribal government - the one which uses the name "Seminole Tribe of Florida" - has formally signed on to the use of the mascot.

*  The June 2005  resolution passed by the solitary Seminole Tribe of Florida regarding FSU's mascot was done so at the request of FSU President T.K. Wetherell. 

Prior to getting the June 2005 Seminole tribal endorsement Florida State announced, along with a number of other incentives, the establishment of scholarships covering 80% of tuition costs for "Seminole Scholars" recruited from reservations.

*  The Florida State Legislature includes "'the Seminole Caucus' - an unofficial but influential group of about two dozen state lawmakers who are Florida State alumni or have ties to the school."

*  "And then there's the university's impact in Tallahassee. Hundreds of Florida government officials are Florida State graduates and supporters. We deal with  these people every day, working with them to clean up the Everglades, to improve the roads that lead to our reservations and to support the public schools that many of our children attend."     
Jim Shore, general counsel of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, excerpt from remarks in NY Times op-ed piece 8/27/05

*  "The NCAA position on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery has not changed, and the NCAA remains committed to ensuring an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for all who participate in and attend our championships."  NCAA statement associated with withdrawing FSU from post-season championship ban.

This photograph from the movie "Schindler's List" shows actor Ben Kingsley in the role of Itzhak Stern as he walks on gravestones used by Nazis for paving.  Tomb markers from Jewish graves were broken and used as paving stones at Gestapo headquarters.  Some authorities report that Hitler was strongly influenced by the manner in which American Indians had been dealt with and viewed by the U.S. government.




UND Merchandise Item - "Fighting Sioux" Doormat 

"Embedded in the granite floor inside the main entrance to Ralph Engelstad Arena, an enormous American Indian-head logo spreads like a welcome mat in front of the larger-than-life statue of Engelstad himself."   

A major donor to the University of North Dakota (UND), 
Engelstad was a collector of Nazi memorabilia
   

 

"... racial stereotypes are offensive, no matter what their origin....Images like these have no place in today’s world.” 

White House spokesman Scott McClellan responding to Mexico's use of  the Memin Pinguin character on a postage stamp (left), June 2005.  At right is the "Chief Wahoo" icon used by the Cleveland, Ohio, major league baseball team. 

 

American Indian Sports Team Mascots © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
All rights reserved.