Knowing a little history clarifies issues


We’ve had this long-simmering football controversy here in the upper midwest — a North Dakota football team named itself after an Indian tribe. They try to argue that it’s not racist and claim that it’s a respectful homage to the natives, but look at the history of such naming elsewhere: the Washington DC football team name is unabashedly racist.

This Washington football team was named by one of the most vehement racists in the history of American professional sports. When George Marshall bought the team in 1932, they were called the Boston Braves. He changed the name — to a slur, because he was a racist — and moved them to Washington. He made “Dixie” one of the team’s fight songs and refused to hire black players well into the 1960s. The NFL integrated in 1946 but Marshall’s team held out until the federal government actually forced them to field black players in 1963. The all-white Washington teams of the 1950s and 1960s were among the worst in the league, but segregation was more important to Marshall than winning football games. The NFL had actually already been raciallyintegrated until black players were suddenly banned in 1933. Interviews with owners suggest that Marshall was responsible for the ban.

This is the man who named the team and white supremacy and racism obviously informed his every decision. In his will he insisted that his foundation not spend any money on “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” It is extremely hard to believe that this man selected the name — specially changed the name from a less offensive term for American Indians to this term — to “honor” anyone, the usual argument used by the team’s modern defenders.

The current owner has vowed to never change the name, and is desperately working to build up some PR spin to cover his butt. So what does he do?

The Washington DC-area NFL franchise has commissioned veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz to conduct some focus groups to see how American football fans feel about the franchise’s name, which is a vile racial slur.

Oh, yeah. When you want to whitewash racism, you call the professionals: a Republican apparatchik. Everyone knows that.


If you read some of the linked articles, you’ll discover that one of the reasons the team refuses to change their name is that they did a poll…and found that Americans preferred that they keep their racist name, 9:1. Are we at all surprised? And is it any wonder that they’ve now hired a Republican pollster to skew the bias even more?

Comments

  1. unbound says

    I”m not sure the university vs the football team is a good comparison on your part PZ.

    UND officials are actually okay with changing the name, but the existing UND name is actually supported by a number of Sioux who have actively found to keep it. I seriously doubt you have any native Americans supporting “Redskins”.

  2. madphd says

    I’m not saying there there is not something wrong with the name of the Siouxs (I definitely don’t know the history of the team). However, isn’t it rather disingenuous to base your argument off of another team’s history? How is the racism of a DC team owner relevant to a North Dakota team? If you are going to give us a history lesson, wouldn’t it be better to stick to the facts of the this case? Maybe I missed something?

  3. says

    Best line by a sportswriter ever. Bar none.

    Born ineligible to play for the Redskins, Jim Brown integrated their end zone three times yesterday.

    Shirley Povich.

  4. doublereed says

    I remember when the Bullets decided to rename themselves to the Wizards, because Bullets was too violent. And people were like “Uhm… but ‘Redskins’ is totally cool??? Really???” Violence is a no-no, but racism is a-ok.

  5. MadHatter says

    It’s pretty pathetic that they haven’t changed it yet. My high school got rid of the same name nearly 20 years ago now.

  6. tmscott says

    I think that the Sioux tribe is missing the bet. If Texas A&M can collect license fees for the use of “The 12th Man”, then surely the Sioux are due some compensation.

  7. Sally Stearns says

    Redskins is definitely racist as all hell and needs changed – and I know people would bitch about losing history, but I think the Washington Braves or the Washington Warriors would be perfectly fine and nobody would really miss a beat .

    Fighting Sioux actually isn’t that bad, they don’t really have a racist mascot and there are Sioux people who think it’s pretty acceptable. Sioux just isn’t really a racist term. North Dakota has much bigger problems to handle right now anyway.

  8. terrencekaye says

    doublereed, I’m not sure you’re right — I thought the Washington Bullets changed their name to the Baltimore Bullets because “Washington” was too scary and demeaning….

  9. Rey Fox says

    Of course most people will tolerate all sorts of crap in the name of Change Is Bad.

  10. says

    tmscott:

    I think that the Sioux tribe

    I just love reading shit like this.

    Fighting Sioux actually isn’t that bad, they don’t really have a racist mascot and there are Sioux people who think it’s pretty acceptable. Sioux just isn’t really a racist term. North Dakota has much bigger problems to handle right now anyway.

    And more shit like this.

    wičhánata háeče. :spits:

  11. Anthony K says

    North Dakota has much bigger problems to handle right now anyway.

    So change the name to “Fighting Abortions” and problem solved.

  12. mythbri says

    Sioux isn’t a racist term, it’s the name of a Nation. Using a Nation or a race as a mascot IS racist, though.

    How wrong is it? Let me count the ways…

    1. Racist
    2. Dehumanizing
    3. Appropriative
    4. Colonialist
    5. Revisionist

    I’m probably missing some.

  13. mythbri says

    So change the name to “Fighting Abortions” and problem solved.

    This, I like.

  14. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I remember when the Bullets decided to rename themselves to the Wizards, because Bullets was too violent. And people were like “Uhm… but ‘Redskins’ is totally cool??? Really???” Violence is a no-no, but racism is a-ok.

    And what makes it even worse is that “Wizards” brings to mind the KKK.

  15. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Fighting Sioux actually isn’t that bad, they don’t really have a racist mascot and there are Sioux people who think it’s pretty acceptable. Sioux just isn’t really a racist term.

    How many of the players are actually of Sioux descent? I’m guessing few if any. It’s false advertising if nothing else.

  16. The Mellow Monkey says

    FYI, there is so such thing as “the Sioux tribe.” There are many different tribes lumped under that name. It is not a name they chose for themselves, but one that was forced upon them. It continues to be used because it’s in the treaties and some people do choose to accept it for themselves, but this name refers to no specific tribe.

    I’m personally always cautious about using that name because I was taught it was an insult my ancestors placed on their neighbors. I’m not sure how accurate that etymology is now, but it’s not my place to make that call. If there are people saying this team name is causing them harm–and there are students saying just that–they need to be listened to and seriously considered. They don’t need other people telling them “but it’s not really a slur.”

  17. mythbri says

    @TMM

    I retract the initial part of my comment #13. I apologize for not knowing the history of the name.

  18. ironflange says

    This is a little off topic, but I’m very impressed that North Dakota has a women’s football team that plays hockey well enough to make it to the tournament.

  19. Betsy McCall says

    Knowing a little history does indeed help. Not all such teams are exercises in racism. The Cleveland Indians were named after the first Native American player to play professional baseball for Cleveland. Despite Cleveland actually trying to honour a player in their own franchise, Cleveland is routinely asked to change their name. (The issue of the Chief Wahoo logo is a separate issue. That logo may indeed be offensive and maybe should be modified or abandoned, but the name of the team itself should not, given it’s history.)

    I don’t know whether the particular North Dakota team is in the camp of trying to honor a player or culture, or if it’s in the camp of being racist dicks. But “racist dicks” isn’t the only possible answer.

  20. No One says

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ 11

    Why don’t they call themselves “The Angloes”? Where is their fucking pride?

  21. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    It’s my recollection that there is a causal correlation between native based names and mascots and worse academic performance in schools.

    I figure if I actually wanted to “honor” American Indians, I would:
    Provide partial or full ownership to the nation in question
    Donate money to the American Indian scholarship fund
    Support educational initiatives within and without the organization
    Etc.

    Using a racist team name or mascot would be very low on my list.

  22. The Mellow Monkey says

    mythbri, they aren’t my people, so I’m very cautious about what I’d say on the topic beyond the fact that the name came from outside. Anything I might say could be as wrong as someone from a farm in France trying to describe the factory politics of Ireland. I see Caine has responded here, so I’ll bow out so I don’t confuse anything with my own ignorance.

  23. Anthony K says

    I don’t know whether the particular North Dakota team is in the camp of trying to honor a player or culture, or if it’s in the camp of being racist dicks. But “racist dicks” isn’t the only possible answer.

    How come Germans are never honoured in such a way? Why aren’t there scores of teams with jerseys that simply read “French”? Surely there’s got to be a worthwhile European somewhere in the long history of sports that deserves to have their legacy boiled down and reduced to the “[City Name] Pastyfaces”.

  24. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Hang on, I’m confused. How is “The Fighting Sioux” racist? Sioux is a real First Nation. I might be showing my ignorance here…

  25. screechymonkey says

    you’ll discover that one of the reasons the team refuses to change their name is that they did a poll

    More importantly, how many likes does it have on YouTube?

  26. Tethys says

    Sioux just isn’t really a racist term

    Unless you happen to know a little history.

    Go ahead, look it up.

  27. Anthony K says

    Ooh, I’ve got one to honour the legacy of the whites who came to settle North Dakota:

    The North Dakota Good Christ Get A Fucking Tan Already; You’d Look Like A Burning Strip of Magnesium If It Weren’t For The Ugly Blue Spider Veinses!

    The logo could be Prince Charles’ ears.

  28. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Anthony K

    I like your use of the word “veinses” :) made me imagine the whole thing in a Gollum voice.

    Hey, Gollum wouldn’t a bad emblem, he fucking embodies the team name :)

  29. Tethys says

    Now having read the entire thread:

    Caine (hug) I’m sorry that this is happening.

    _____

    Everybody else.

    The word Sioux is a Cherokee word that means “enemy” in reference to the Lakota/ Dakota tribes who they were in regular conflict with over territory.

    Some Lakota tribes have incorporated it, but others do not appreciate it one bit for very good reason.

  30. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    The Mellow Monkey,

    Thanks for that explanation in #17. I had no idea :/

  31. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Thumper: Would the fighting Mexicans be cool? How about the fighting Nigerians?

    (I leave to the imagination the mascots and chants, but it should be clear only the crassest of stereotypes will be possible for a large sports team.)

    The name need not be racist in itself, the context matters.

    Also as an Irishman, if anyone brings up Notre Dame and says is that racist, shut up and listen. We are white and at the top here. Seriously. Not the same.

  32. Tethys says

    The North Dakota Good Christ Get A Fucking Tan Already; You’d Look Like A Burning Strip of Magnesium If It Weren’t For The Ugly Blue Spider Veinses!

    Well true, I am from ND, I am a ridiculously pale person, I don’t tan, and you can see all my veinses.

  33. says

    Why aren’t there scores of teams with jerseys that simply read “French”?

    Well, Notre Dame does have the “Fighting Irish.” However, despite superficial similarities, the two cases aren’t really the same, what with the U.S. never having committed acts of genocide against the Irish and so forth.

  34. vole says

    Maybe you should also worry about the Chiefs (more “native Americans”?), the Vikings (raking up history that present-day peace-loving Scandinavians might prefer to forget), the Patriots (“last refuge of the scoundrel”), Browns (even if it’s not racist, brown shirts are associated with fascism), and the Cardinals (associated with a great multitude of sins).

  35. mythbri says

    Done a little bit more research here, and both Tethys and TMM are correct in that many of the people referred to as “Sioux” reject the name, and only a few have incorporated it. It’s also quite clear that Caine does not identify with this name either.

    Adding to what Tethys has said, it seems as though “Sioux” is a catch-all bastardized term from other First Nation dialects, probably given to very diverse groups of people by French-Canadian traders, and the most common etymologies are insulting.

    Sheesh. I wish I could take back my whole comment at #13. Sorry. Any more questions on why this is racist?

  36. Anthony K says

    Thumper: Would the fighting Mexicans be cool? How about the fighting Nigerians?

    The Conniving Jews? The Thieving Irish? The Welching Welch? The Ignorant Americans?

    Maybe you should also worry about the Chiefs (more “native Americans”?), the Vikings (raking up history that present-day peace-loving Scandinavians might prefer to forget), the Patriots (“last refuge of the scoundrel”), Browns (even if it’s not racist, brown shirts are associated with fascism), and the Cardinals (associated with a great multitude of sins).

    The False Equivalencing Voles.

  37. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @24 Seems you’ve never heard of the Minnesota Vikings, the Boston Celtics, the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Yankees, or the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

  38. mythbri says

    @vole #36

    more “native Americans”?

    Why the scare quotes? Are you mocking “political correctness” or are you in doubt that First Nations people really exist?

  39. Martin says

    Who does the name offend?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/fighting-sioux-controvers_n_1592841.html
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77370.html
    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/05/03/fighting-sioux-cannot-sue-federal-court-throws-out-tribes-challenge-of-ncaa-rule/

    Why are members of the Sioux tribe trying to keep the name if it is offensive to them? If it isn't offensive to them, then what's the problem with the name? Do we tell them they should be offended or does their opinion count?

  40. yazikus says

    An excellent resource, with answers to all of the arguments for keeping the name is Adrienne over at Native Appropriations. I found her articles to be educational and helpful and clear up any questions that I myself had on the subject. (Covers the fighting irish comparison, the viking comparison, the fact that not every native american wants to change it, etc.)

  41. Anthony K says

    @24 Seems you’ve never heard of the Minnesota Vikings, the Boston Celtics, the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Yankees, or the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

    Go ahead and have another think then. Has there ever been a conversation about racism in sports teams names in which the Notre Dame Fighting Irish weren’t thrown out as a defence?

    There was a reason I used the word scores. You’ve listed five here (you should have included the Vancouver Canucks to make an even half dozen), which is a spurt in a sock compared to:

    American Football[edit]
    Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)
    Washington Redskins (NFL)[7]
    Association Football (Soccer)[edit]
    Indios de Ciudad Juárez (Mexico)
    Kaizer Chiefs F.C. (South Africa), named after the now-defunct American soccer team Atlanta Chiefs
    Baseball[edit]
    Atlanta Braves (MLB), originally Boston Braves, then Milwaukee Braves, plus all but one of their minor league affiliates:
    Danville Braves
    Gulf Coast League Braves
    Gwinnett Braves (formerly the Richmond Braves)
    Mississippi Braves
    Rome Braves
    Cleveland Indians (MLB), along with one current minor league affiliate and one defunct affiliate:
    Gulf Coast Indians
    Kinston Indians (defunct; replaced in 2012 by the Carolina Mudcats)
    Indianapolis Indians
    Peoria Chiefs—The Peoria Chiefs no longer use indigenous imagery, instead using imagery related to firefighters.
    Spokane Indians
    Syracuse Chiefs—The team changed its name from “Chiefs” to “SkyChiefs” from 1996–2006, but reverted to “Chiefs” in 2007. Today’s Chiefs do not use any imagery related to indigenous peoples, instead using railroad image
    Indios de Ciudad Juarez
    Yaquis de Obregón
    Caribes de Anzoátegui (Venezuelan Professional Baseball League)
    Mayos de Navojoa (Liga Mexicana del Pacifico)
    Basketball[edit]
    Atlanta Hawks (NBA) — Originally Tri-City Blackhawks (1946-1951). The Hawks do not use indigenous imagery.
    Golden State Warriors (NBA) — Originally Philadelphia Warriors, then San Francisco Warriors. The Warriors no longer use indigenous imagery.
    Guaiqueríes de Margarita (LPB)
    Canadian Football[edit]
    Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
    Ice Hockey[edit]
    Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) – In 2008, this logo was voted best in the National Hockey League by The Hockey News.[8]
    Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) — Named after the Charlestown Chiefs, the fictional team in the movie Slap Shot (partially shot in the real team’s home city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania). Team moved and became Greenville Road Warriors in 2010.
    Frölunda Indians (Elitserien)
    Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
    Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
    Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
    Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
    Lacrosse[edit]
    Brooklin Redmen
    Burlington Chiefs
    Kitchener-Waterloo Braves
    Elora Mohawks
    Mississauga Tomahawks
    Six Nations Arrows
    Six Nations Chiefs
    St. Regis Indians
    Rugby[edit]
    The New Zealand Warriors, a New Zealand Rugby League team based in Auckland which plays in the Australian NRL competition
    The Chiefs, a rugby union team representing the central North Island of New Zealand in the Super Rugby competition
    Exeter Chiefs, a rugby union side from England
    New Zealand Māori, a New Zealand rugby union (and formerly rugby league) side whose members must be at least 1/16 Māori
    Northland Taniwha, a rugby team in the ITM Cup named after a being from Māori mythology
    The Tomahawks, the official nickname of the United States national rugby league team
    Schools[edit]
    Colleges and universities[edit]
    Alcorn State Braves
    Bradley Braves
    Central Michigan Chippewas
    Chowan Braves
    Florida Southern Moccasins
    Florida State University Seminoles
    Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors (men) and Rainbow Wahine (women) – “Wahine” is the Hawaiian word for “woman”
    Since 2000, each team has been allowed to select its own mascot name; most notably, the football team has been simply known as “The Warriors”. See University of Hawaii Athletics for details.
    Memorial University of Newfoundland Beothuk – The Beothuk aboriginal peoples went extinct in 1829 and the university named was changed to Sea-Hawks in 1987 as the use of the Beothuk name was deemed offensive.
    Mississippi College Choctaws
    Ottawa University (KS) Braves
    San Diego State Aztecs
    UNC Pembroke Braves – representing a college originally created to educate American Indians
    University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux
    Utah Utes
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – have removed all official university sanction of Native American imagery, but unofficially, still widely used by students and fans – there is considerable controversy over whether the term “Illini” as originally used at the university was directly related to Native American culture at all, or whether the imagery was added after the fact; documentation tends to indicate that “Illini” refers to the state of Illinois itself and not its indigenous peoples.[9]
    William & Mary Tribe – no longer uses any imagery related to indigenous peoples
    High schools[edit]
    The following high schools are listed in alphabetical order by team name:
    Apaches[edit]
    Arcadia (CA) Apaches
    Pottsville (AR) Apaches
    Aztecs[edit]
    Esperanza Aztecs
    Eskimos or Eskymos[edit]
    Escanaba Eskymos
    Braves[edit]
    Benson (MN) Braves
    Bottineau (ND) Braves
    Brebeuf Jesuit Braves
    Berea High School Braves
    Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian Braves
    Canandaigua Academy Braves
    Grant County High School Braves
    Sherman Indian High School Braves
    Socastee High School Braves
    St. John Bosco High School Braves
    Tomales Braves
    Turtle Mountain Community Schools Braves, Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, Belcourt, ND
    Cherokees[edit]
    McMinn County High School (TN) Cherokees
    Chiefs[edit]
    Cherokee (NJ) Chiefs
    Deer Creek Mackinaw High School Chiefs
    Gaffney Middle School Chiefs
    Iroquois Central School District Chiefs
    Lakeland (PA) School District Chiefs
    Massapequa (NY) Chiefs
    Monacan High School Chiefs
    Moses Lake Senior High School Chiefs
    North Myrtle Beach High School Chiefs
    Northview (FL) Chiefs
    Sequoyah (GA) Chiefs
    Chieftans[edit]
    Bellevue East High School Chieftans
    Palma High School Chieftains
    Sapulpa High School Chieftains
    South Barber High School Chieftains, Kiowa, Kansas
    Chickasaws[edit]
    Blytheville High School Chickasaws
    Comaches[edit]
    Canyon Comanches
    Indians[edit]
    Albany (GA) Indians
    Arickaree Indians, Anton, Colorado
    Armijo High School Indians
    Armuchee High School Indians
    Berlin Indians
    Browning Indians, Blackfeet Reservation
    Caddo Hills (AR) Indians
    Catawba Indians
    Catoosa High School Indians
    Charlton County High School Indians
    Chattooga High School Indians
    Choctawhatchee High School Indians
    Council Rock North High School Indians
    Cross Keys (GA) High School Indians
    Dodge County High School Indians
    Gaffney High School Indians
    Fairfield High School Indians (Cincinnati, OH)
    Four Winds High School Indians, Spirit Lake Reservation, Fort Totten, North Dakota
    Fullerton Union High School Indians
    Conemaugh Township Indians
    H. C. Wilcox Technical High School – The Indians
    Irwin County High School Indians
    Juniata (PA) High School Indians
    Keller High School Indians
    Manhattan (KS) High School Indians
    Murray County High School Indians
    Lane Technical College Prep High School Indians
    Lewistown (IL) High School Indians
    McEachern (GA) High School Indians
    Molalla Indians
    Newberry Indians
    Pocatello High School Indians
    Powhatan High School Indians
    Poyen (AR) Indians
    Reardan High School (WA) Indians
    Renton Indians
    Scappoose (OR) High School Indians – Scappoose is the Chinook word for the area, meaning gravely plain
    Sewanhaka High School Indians
    Skowhegan Area (ME) High School Indians
    Passaic High School Indians
    Port Neches–Groves Indians
    St. Joseph’s High School (South Bend, Indiana) Indians
    Susquehanna High School Indians Harrisburg, PA.
    Upper Perkiomen High School Indians Pennsburg, PA.
    Waite High School (OH) Indians
    Ysleta High School Indian
    Mohawks[edit]
    Macklin Mohawks
    Piggott (AR) Mohawks
    Mohicans[edit]
    Gardena High School Mohicans
    Mohigans[edit]
    Morgantown High School Mohigans
    Red Raiders[edit]
    Port Richmond Red Raiders
    Uniontown (PA) Red Raiders
    Redmen[edit]
    Bedford Road Collegiate Redmen
    Cedar High School Redmen
    Parma Senior High School Redmen
    Smith Center (KS) Redmen
    Reds[edit]
    Eaton Reds, Eaton, Colorado
    Redskins[edit]
    Coshocton (Ohio) High School Redskins
    Cuyahoga Heights High School Redskins
    Goshen High School (Indiana) Redskins
    Hurricane (WV) High School Redskins
    Knox (Indiana) High School Redskins
    Lamar High School (Houston, Texas) Redskins
    Liberal (KS) High School Redskins
    Pocahontas (AR) Redskins
    Port Clinton Redskins
    Sandusky High School Redskins
    Sanford (Maine) High School Redskins
    Saranac (MI) High School Redskins
    Tulare Union High School Redskins
    Tulsa Union High School Redskins
    Teton High School Redskins – Driggs, Idaho
    North Side High School (Indiana) Redskins
    Renegades[edit]
    Shawnee (NJ) Renegades
    Clinton High School (MI) Redskins
    Sachems[edit]
    Winchester High School Sachems
    Sauras[edit]
    South Stokes (NC) Sauras
    Seminoles[edit]
    Osceola (AR) Seminoles
    Sioux[edit]
    Solen High School Sioux, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, (Solen, North Dakota)
    Westhope High School Sioux (Westhope, North Dakota)
    Thunderbirds[edit]
    Bellevue West High School Thunderbirds
    Tribe[edit]
    Monterey YMCA Tribe
    Warriors[edit]
    Aloha High School Warriors
    Anadarko Warriors
    B. Reed Henderson Warriors
    Birmingham Brother Rice Warriors
    Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (MA) Warriors
    Curtis High School Warriors
    Cherokee (GA) Warriors
    East Poinsett County (AR) Warriors
    Gordon Central High School Warriors
    Granard Middle School Warriors
    Hall High School (Connecticut) Warriors
    Heart Butte Warriors, Blackfeet Reservation
    Jupiter Community High School Warriors
    Lakeview–Fort Oglethorpe High School Warriors
    Lake View Warriors
    Lamar (AR) Warriors
    Mandaree High School Warriors, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Mandaree, North Dakota
    McClymonds High School Warriors
    Oconee County High School Warriors
    Ouachita High School Warriors
    Mohawk High School (Sycamore, Ohio) Warriors
    North Cobb (GA) High School Warriors
    Pocahotas County (WV) High School Warriors
    Standing Rock High School Warriors, Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Fort Yates, ND
    Smithville High School (Missouri) Warriors
    Thompson High School Warriors
    Tuloso-Midway High School (TX) Warriors
    Walsh Jesuit High School Warriors
    Warroad Warriors
    Warwick High School Warriors, Spirit Lake Indian Reservation, Warwick, ND
    Wawasee High School Warriors
    Wayne High School (Huber Heights, Ohio) Warriors
    Weldon Valley Warriors, Weldona, Colorado
    West Orange High School (Winter Garden, Florida) Warriors
    Western Grove (AR) Warriors
    Westside (AR) Warriors
    Wheaton Academy Warriors
    Wickes (AR) Warriors
    Waccamaw High School Warriors
    Watchung Hills Regional High School Warriors
    Waunakee High School Warriors – Waunakee means peaceful valley in a Native American language
    White County (GA) High School Warriors
    White Shield High School Warrors, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Roseglen, ND
    Winnacunnet Warriors
    Wyandotte High School (Mi) Warriors
    Grass Lake High School (MI) Warriors
    Other[edit]
    Defunct names[edit]
    Adams State Indians, now the “Grizzlies”
    Akron Indians, defunct National Football League team, formerly the “Pros”
    Arkansas State Indians, now the “Red Wolves”
    Tri-Cities Blackhawks, of what is now the NBA, moved and renamed Milwaukee / St. Louis / Atlanta “Hawks,” after the bird
    Burlington Indians, now known as the Burlington Royals after affiliating with the Kansas City Royals
    Canton/Akron Indians, a minor league baseball farm team for the Cleveland Indians, moved to Akron and became the “Aeros”
    Carlisle Indians, a school for American Indians that was a college football power in the early 1900s
    Carthage Redmen, reverted to the “Red Men”
    Cleveland Indians of the National Football League, team defunct
    Colgate Red Raiders, now the Colgate Raiders
    Cumberland Indians, now the Cumberlands “Patriots”
    The school was known as Cumberland College until 2005, when it became the University of the Cumberlands. The nickname was changed in 2002.
    Dartmouth Indians, disused since the 1970s in favor of continuing existing nickname, “Big Green”
    Dickinson State Savages, renamed the “Blue Hawks” in 1972
    Duluth Eskimos, also known as the Duluth Kelleys, a professional football team from Duluth, MN from 1923-1927.
    Eastern Michigan Hurons, now the “Eagles”
    Eastern Washington Savages, renamed the “Eagles” in 1973
    Flint Indians, team defunct
    Flint Central High School Indians, renamed “Phoenix” in 2005
    Grand Forks Central Redskins, renamed the “Knights”
    Grafton Blackhawks, renamed to “Black Hawks”
    Grand Rapids High School Indians (Grand Rapids, Minnesota), renamed the “Thunderhawks”
    Hartwick Warriors, became the “Hawks” in 1994
    Hermosillo Seris
    Hiawatha (KS) High School Redskins, changed to Red Hawks in 2000
    IUP Indians (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) became the “Crimson Hawks” in 2007
    Kansas City Scouts of the NHL, moved to Colorado and became the Rockies, now the New Jersey Devils
    Kinston Indians, defunct minor league baseball team
    Louisiana-Monroe Indians, now the “Warhawks”
    Marquette Warriors, became the “Golden Eagles” in 1994
    UMass Redmen, became the “Minutemen” in 1972 (according to the University, “Redmen” and “Redwomen” referred to the uniforms worn by the athletics teams. It was changed to “Minutemen” and “Minutewomen” out of sensitivity to American Indians).
    MCLA Mohawks, today the “Trailblazers”
    McMurry Indians, removed their team nickname entirely in 2006
    Mexico City Aztecas
    Miami Redskins, in mid-1997, officially changed their names to the “RedHawks”
    Midwestern State Indians, latterly the “Mustangs” as of the 2006 season
    Millard South High School Indians (Omaha, Neb.) changed to Patriots in 2000
    Monticello High School Redmen, in Monticello, Minnesota, now “Magic”
    Montevideo High School Mohawks (MN) today the Thunder Hawks
    Nebraska Wesleyan Plainsmen, today the “Prairie Wolves”
    North Dakota Fighting Sioux, now no mascot
    Northeastern Oklahoma State University Redmen, now the “RiverHawks”
    Oklahoma City U. Chiefs, now the “Stars”
    Oorang Indians, defunct National Football League team, actually consisting mostly of Native Americans
    Ossining Indians, now no mascot
    Ottawa Tomahawks (NBL) – name dropped shortly after announced due to controversy
    Owatonna Indians, now the “Huskies”
    Parsippany High School Redskins, Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, now the “Redhawks”
    Penfield High School Chiefs, Penfield, New York, now the “Patriots”
    Pekin High School in Pekin, Illinois were the “Chinks” until 1980
    Poynette High School Indians, Poynette, Wisconsin, became the “Pumas” in 2009[10]
    Quinnipiac Braves, became the “Bobcats” in 2002
    St. Bonaventure Brown Indians and Brown Squaws, renamed the “Bonnies” in 1979
    St. John’s University (New York), formerly the “Redmen”, became the “Red Storm” in 1995, to be gender-neutral and to avoid any appearance of racism. The school’s website indicates that the name did not refer to American Indians, but to the school color, a bright cardinal red.
    Salisbury Indians, team defunct
    Seneca College Braves, renamed Seneca College Sting in 1999-2000
    Seneca High School Redskins in Louisville, Kentucky, now “RedHawks”
    Sauk Rapids-Rice High School Indians, in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, now “Storm”
    Simpson Redmen and Lady Reds, renamed the “Storm” in 1992
    Southeast Missouri State Indians and Otahkians, renamed the “Redhawks” in 2004.
    Southeastern Oklahoma State Savages, renamed “Savage Storm” in 2006
    Springfield Indians, moved to Worcester and became the IceCats, then Peoria, Illinois, where they are now the Rivermen
    Seattle U. Chieftains, now the “Redhawks”
    Southern Nazarene Redskins, now the “Crimson Storm”
    Springfield College Chiefs, now the “Pride”
    St. Catharines Black Hawks
    St. Catharines Teepees
    Stanford Indians, now known as the Stanford “Cardinal” (singular – for the school color, a shade of red)
    Stonehill Chieftains, today the “Skyhawks”
    Syracuse Orangemen, now the Syracuse Orange, once used a mascot called the “Saltine Warrior”
    Tamalpais Indians, became the Tamalpais High School “Red Tailed Hawks” [sic] after 1990.[11]
    Toronto Tecumseh (OALA Sr A), was the “Tecumseh” in the late 19th century and maybe early 20th; changed to “Toronto Young Torontos” by 1911
    West Georgia Braves, renamed the “Wolves” in 2006
    William & Mary Indians, renamed “Tribe” in 1978
    Mascots[edit]

    Chief Osceola, Florida State University Seminoles
    San Diego State Aztec Warrior
    Chief Wahoo, Cleveland Indians
    Defunct mascots[edit]
    Indiana State University’s Chief Ouabache and Indian Princess were discontinued in 1989
    The Golden State Warriors’ “Indian warrior” logo was replaced in 1971
    Marquette University’s “Willie Wampum,” retired in 1971
    Syracuse University’s “Saltine Warrior”
    Kansas City Chiefs horse mascot “Warpaint”.
    Chief Brave Spirit, University of Louisiana at Monroe, retired in 2006 (mascot changed from “Indians” to “Warhawks”)
    Chief Moccanooga, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (use of this mascot ended in 1996)
    Chief Noc-A-Homa, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (use of this mascot ended in early 1980s, existed as late as 1983 season)
    Princess Win-A-Lotta, paired with Chief Noc-A-Homa, introduced late 1970s, dropped at same time as Noc-A-Homa
    Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    University of Oklahoma, Little Red
    William Jackson Palmer High School “Terrors”. Eagle Beak mascot replaced with a bird.
    Fictional Teams[edit]

    Charlestown Chiefs (Federal Hockey League) (Slap Shot).
    The Mars Greenskins – Blernsball is the version of baseball in the year 3000 in the show Futurama.
    NY Mohawks – major league team, The Seventh Game by Roger Kahn.
    Niagara Falls Chiefs, in the Gordon Korman novel The Zucchini Warriors.
    Warriors – major league team, Today’s Game by Martin Quigley.
    Warbury Warriors – Stiker comic strip.

  42. Anthony K says

    An excellent resource, with answers to all of the arguments for keeping the name is Adrienne over at Native Appropriations. I found her articles to be educational and helpful and clear up any questions that I myself had on the subject. (Covers the fighting irish comparison, the viking comparison, the fact that not every native american wants to change it, etc.)

    Enthusiastically seconded.

  43. sigurd jorsalfar says

    My point isn’t that the existence of those teams settles the issue. My point is that you look like a fool saying “how come there are no such teams” when there clearly are.

  44. ChasCPeterson says

    How come Germans are never honoured in such a way? Why aren’t there scores of teams with jerseys that simply read “French”?

    Fighting Irish
    Fighting Dutchmen
    Terrible Swedes
    Great Danes

    Vikings, Highlanders, Celtics, Spartans, Trojans, Visigoths*.

    Milwaukee Brewers: Germans.
    San Diego Padres: Spaniards.
    Montreal Canadiens: French.
    Los Angeles Lakers: Norwegians.
    New York Islanders: Italians, Irish, and Jews.

    I rest my case.

    *ok, that one I made up.

  45. left0ver1under says

    I would have thought the name Chicago Black Hawks would enter into this discussion. Or is hockey that low on people’s radar?

    An odd story from Canadian university sports: Since 1874, McGill University’s sports team nickname has been “Redmen”. In the 1950s, the director of sports (Vic Obeck) decided to add a logo using a First Nations image. In recent decades, after some public dislike of the name, someone did some research and the name reverted back to its original meaning of “red men” – Celts and Scots with red hair. The question is, do some people now find that usage offensive?

  46. carbonbasedlifeform says

    While it may be stating the obvious, the George Preston Marshall who owned the Redskins was not the same man as the George Catlett Marshall who was Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

  47. Anthony K says

    My point isn’t that the existence of those teams settles the issue. My point is that you look like a fool saying “how come there are no such teams” when there clearly are.

    Fuckface, this is what I wrote:

    How come Germans are never honoured in such a way? Why aren’t there scores of teams with jerseys that simply read “French”?

    Fool indeed, you illiterate dipshit.

  48. Anthony K says

    Milwaukee Brewers: Germans.

    That’s about the weakest thing I’ve ever read, even from you, Chas.

  49. carbonbasedlifeform says

    The late Andrew Greeley used to say that Notre Dame should change its team name to “the Fighting Black Baptists” as that was a better description of the team.

  50. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Regarding the last couple of comments about Irish and similar, I’ll just quote Dalillama:

    However, despite superficial similarities, the two cases aren’t really the same, what with the U.S. never having committed acts of genocide against the Irish and so forth.

  51. Anthony K says

    Oh piss off Anthony K you pompous, self-righteous wind bag.

    Says the smarmy fuck who can’t be bothered to read.

  52. ChasCPeterson says

    ffs, man.
    That you took that comment at all seriously (and that you chose to post a C&P 14-screener instead of a link; thanks a lot) suggests that you are perhaps not yourself today.

  53. Tethys says

    Chas

    I was wondering too, since you left off the /sarc tag it isn’t clear whether you were being facetious.

  54. Anthony K says

    suggests that you are perhaps not yourself today.

    Perhaps so. I took both your comment and sigurd jorsalfar’s as serious, because the “Fighting Irish” rebuttal is commonly used in all seriousness in these discussions.

    Sorry for jumping down your throat, and sorry for jumping down sigurd jorsalfar’s.

  55. mythbri says

    I have to apologize again for my ignorance, but I really want to thank everyone who recommended Native Appropriations. I am educating myself.

  56. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Did someone seriously posit a “what about the whites?” response?

    Seriously?!

    On a post about “Redskins”?!?

    No. No one’s saying the nick name ‘Redskins’ is acceptable because there are teams named after white people. ‘Redskins’ is one of the most deplorable nick names in sports.

  57. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Perhaps so. I took both your comment and sigurd jorsalfar’s as serious, because the “Fighting Irish” rebuttal is commonly used in all seriousness in these discussions.

    Sorry for jumping down your throat, and sorry for jumping down sigurd jorsalfar’s.

    My comment was more serious than Chas’s. I don’t think it’s the number of teams named after native tribes versus the number of teams named after white tribes that determines whether there is racism going on in the naming, but WHO is doing the naming.

    It’s one thing to name your team after your own tribe, another to name it after someone else’s, especially someone else you have treated abominably, and aren’t even naming correctly but derogatorily, e.g. ‘Redskins’, ‘Eskimos’, etc.

    Btw, the Cleveland Browns are named after their first coach, Paul Brown.

    Secondly, Vikings is arguably a Germanic name, albeit it an old one. But I think there’s an obvious reason why there are no other teams named after Germans, namely two world wars.

  58. Anthony K says

    I don’t think it’s the number of teams named after native tribes versus the number of teams named after white tribes that determines whether there is racism going on in the naming, but WHO is doing the naming.

    I completely agree that who is doing the naming is important. I’d listed the overwhelming disparity in numbers to point out that the appropriation of First Nations names is widespread and systemic.

  59. says

    @Sigurd:

    I was more referring to Vole’s post, and perhaps reading a little uncharitably.

    @Sigurd (hey!) and Anthony K:

    My college’s team was the Shippensburg Raiders, their logo was a big pirate ship (their mascot was a… red-tailed hawk?) Some of the older commentators and some old logos called them the “Red Raiders” and the logo was still a boat, but then I saw someone with the original Red Raiders logo on one of those bleacher pillows – ah, used to be an Indian. Apparently they changed the logo in the 80s.

  60. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    the Montreal Canadiens

    It’s a Canadian team that plays from Montreal. This is a joke, right? Your reading comprehension sucks if you thought that Anthony K @ #24 wasn’t making a point regarding racist team names in response to the suggestion that reducing a player to an ethnicity (not really that even) in ‘honour’ of their being the first to be allowed to play (by white dudes) is somehow not actually racist.

    Fucking reading. How does it work?

  61. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Betsy McCall <racist dicks

    Lose the dicks; it’s not cool.

  62. sigurd jorsalfar says

    I think there’s an element of the ‘noble savage’ myth that was going on when the trend developed of naming teams after native tribes. World War I had a very different effect on these things than did the Sioux Wars.

    There used to be a town in Canada called Berlin. It was founded by Germans and is to this day the main centre of Lutheranism and Lutheran theology in Canada, and still hosts the biggest Oktoberfest in Canada. But during WW1 it changed its name to Kitchener at the behest of its citizens, who were still largely descended from those original German settlers.

    If an entire town can change its name in order to show its allegiance then I think it was a very simple matter for sports teams to do the same. If there ever was a ‘noble German’ myth on these shores, WW1 ended it.

  63. TonyJ says

    Polling the majority to determine if a name is offensive to a minority? I don’t see the problem!

    /sarcasm

  64. Tethys says

    Sigurd

    Secondly, Vikings is arguably a Germanic name, albeit it an old one. But I think there’s an obvious reason why there are no other teams named after Germans, namely two world wars.

    Viking is more precisely Scandinavian Norse, and its originally a verb. Someone who goes viking is a Vikingr.
    It makes sense that a predominately Scandinavian population would chose Vikings as their team name and mascot.

    Referencing your own cultural heritage does not constitute racism.

  65. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    There used to be a town in Canada called Berlin. It was founded by Germans and is to this day the main centre of Lutheranism and Lutheran theology in Canada, and still hosts the biggest Oktoberfest in Canada. But during WW1 it changed its name to Kitchener at the behest of its citizens, who were still largely descended from those original German settlers.

    Folk history?

    I cannot even begin to correct all of the mistakes made here.

    The place was not founded by Germans. And that’s not a technicality.
    _____

    If an entire town can change its name in order to show its allegiance

    That’s not what happened!

    then I think it was a very simple matter for sports teams to do the same.</blockquote.It should be an easy matter, for totally different reasons.

    If there ever was a ‘noble German’ myth on these shores, WW1 ended it.

    Can pacifist Mennonites from Pennsylvania be considered noble Germans?

    Ugh! [exasperation!]

  66. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Referencing your own cultural heritage does not constitute racism.

    I’m pretty sure I made that very point in the very post you culled my quote from.

    Although I wouldn’t make such a blanket statement that referencing your own cultural heritage does not constitute racism. It could well constitute racism toward someone else.

  67. footface says

    My alma mater’s teams are named after a “famous” killer of Native Americans, so I guess that’s even more horrible?

  68. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @79 Fortunately mine are all named after vicious animals or non-skin-tone colors.

  69. says

    @72: Seconded. This is straight noble-savage myth. Stereotypes about Indians being pure and close to the earth and not sissified-city-dwellers like whitey are the reason these name are so popular compared to other groups. It’s the same reason we have teams with name like Vikings and Spartans, but avoid any names based on industrialized societies. Also, as Jack Handey said, “I hope that in the future, Americans are thought of as a vicious, warlike, people, because I bet a lot of high schools would name their teams ‘The Americans.'”

  70. says

    Yes, the virulent racism of George Preston Marshall is well-documented. Strangely, though, in one of those ironic twists of history, he may have unintentionally contributed to the re-integration of the NFL
    In 1933 he had the (less than brilliant) idea of moving the goalposts from the end line to the goal line to encourage the kicking game. This, of course, put the posts essentially in the field of play.
    Twelve years later this came back to bite his ass in the championship game. His quarterback, Sammy Baugh, tried to throw a pass from his own end zone. It bounced off the goalpost and came to rest in the end zone, which, under the rules of the day was a safety and scored two points for the Redskins’ opponents, the Cleveland Rams. The Rams ended up winning 15-14.
    After the season the Rams owner announced his intention to move the team to Los Angeles. Since this was roughly 2000 miles from any other NFL team at the time, there was a lot of resistance around the league. But since the second option was to disband the team, and having your defending champion go out of business doesn’t look too good, they were allowed to move. But the owners of the LA Coliseum had a condition before allowing the Rams to play their home games there–integrate the team with at least one black player. At least that’s how the legend goes (I think there might be some who dispute that condition being laid down). In any case, the Rams signed Kenny Washington–a college teammate of Jackie Robinson.
    For those of you scoring at home, the play reads: Marshall moves goalposts, ball hits goalpost, Rams win, move to LA, integrate team.
    The NFL moved the goalposts back where they belong in 1974.

  71. stevem says

    re Sigurd@72:

    There used to be a town in Canada called Berlin. It was founded by Germans and is to this day the main centre of Lutheranism and Lutheran theology in Canada, and still hosts the biggest Oktoberfest in Canada. But during WW1 it changed its name to Kitchener at the behest of its citizens, who were still largely descended from those original German settlers.

    Here in Massachusetts there is a town also named Berlin. After WWII they didn’t like being the name of the “Nazi” capital, so they insisted the pronunciation be changed to put the emphasis on the ‘ber’ rather than the ‘lin’ (the latter is how most ‘Mericans pronounce Germany’s ‘Berlin’) It’s difficult, in text, to emphasize the distinction, but it is there, and be sure to pronounce ‘Berlin’ (kinda like ‘burrlin’) when in Berlin,MA.

    Back to the subject; YES, most football (i.e. sports) team names are racist. No excuse to say, “if ‘Fighting Irish’ is okay, then why is ‘Fighting Sioux’ so bad?” Why not just use animals, i.e. Hawks, Eagles, Penguins, Ducks, etc. (PETA, don’t flame me!) or some such? Racist is racist; false equivalence is still false equivalence.

  72. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    feralboy12@82

    So, you would say this is a literal case of Goalpost moving that just so happened to bite someone in the ass? :haw:

    ….

    I’ll show myself back to the thunderdome…

  73. says

    What I don’t understand is how, in this day and age a team could so blatantly ignore the massive marketing opportunities inherent in changing their name. New uniforms! New logos! New T-Shirts to sell!

    Seriously, hold a contest amongst the local elementary school kids and have a presentation ceremony where all the little moppets who picked the new name get free tickets and a replica jersey and probably become fans for life ffs!

    Also, the Cleveland Indians getting their name from Louis Francis Sockalexis is considered a myth by serious baseball historians.
    http://www.aistm.org/staurowsky.sockalexis.htm

  74. says

    Re: 11 Caine, Fleur du mal 12 June 2013 at 11:05 am (UTC -5)
    Go fuck yourself, Caine. Sick and tired of your Caine uber alles opinions. No one can disagree. You must get veto.

    It’s stupid.

    The history of one team is not the history of another.

  75. Randide, Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin says

    The Ignorant Americans?

    I can not be the only one who would buy a T-shirt or jersey of the (City or School Name Goes Here) Ignorant Americans.

  76. carlie says

    And just to be clear, Anthony K’s list at 43 is incomplete. I grew up in the midwest at one high school with the Warriors as a mascot, my kids now go to another high school in the northeast with the Warriors as a mascot, and neither are on that list.

    If you’d like a little humor and entertainment with your social learning, there’s a funny and pointed 1491s video about the appropriation of Indian/Native American culture. I’m also quite fond of their Learning words video.

    I think a huge part of the problem is that the majority white population doesn’t think it’s racist because they don’t think Indians really even exist any more. In school, you learn about them right up until the time that they got forced onto reservations, and then they disappear entirely from mention. According to Wikipedia, there are fewer than 3 million, and they are mostly concentrated in a very few states. My guess is that most Americans have only the vaguest image in their minds of Indian as “somebody who claims their great grandmother was a Cherokee princess”, and therefore think it’s no big deal to slander the name.

  77. ChasCPeterson says

    Pro teams, at least, ought to just quit fucking around and take on sponsorship names, as seems bound to happen. Seattle Boeings, New York Citibanks, Pittsburgh Alcoas, Dallas Exxon-Mobils, etc.

  78. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Crissa,

    What are you talking about?
    If you looked at the comments Caine quoted, she was bothered by people talking about “Sioux tribe”.

    The history of one team is not the history of another.

    … which is mentioned nowhere in Caine’s comment

    But don’t let me stand in the way of your personal grudge or whatever.

  79. otrame says

    I remember the first time I heard complaints about the Redskins name, I thought “It’s intended to be a compliment, for God’s sake”.

    And it was as @72 points out

    I think there’s an element of the ‘noble savage’ myth that was going on when the trend developed of naming teams after native tribes.

    >

    I said, “Thinking it’s an insult implies that there is something wrong with being a Native American.”

    And my friends said, “So you’d be okay calling a team the New York Jews”.

    Sometimes you have to hit me upside the head before I get it. But that did it.

    So yeah, lets get rid of all the team names that refer to groups of humans–including the bloody Fighting Irish.

  80. mythbri says

    @otrame

    I don’t think we need to get rid of human-group team names that are also occupations, like Warriors, Knights, Flyers, etc.

  81. mythbri says

    @carlie

    Over at Pandagon, someone suggested they change it to the Pigskins, which allows them to keep the “Skins” nickname and references a particularly good team year (apparently).

  82. says

    Crissa:

    Go fuck yourself, Caine. Sick and tired of your Caine uber alles opinions. No one can disagree. You must get veto.

    Which tribe are you enrolled in, again?

  83. Tethys says

    Crissa

    So you think that being subjected to racism is AOK, and Caine should just not notice it?

    Yeah, I believe it is you who should be fucking off right after you apologize.

  84. Artor says

    LOL! The post didn’t mention the actual name of the team, and I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about until I got to the comments. I guess I am really unattached to football at all. I never saw the appeal.

  85. Amphiox says

    Chas may well be right about the Montreal Canadiens.

    Canadiens has historically been a term used to refer specifically to French Canadians in Quebec, and the Montreal hockey team started out primarily with a fanbase, IIRC, in the anglophone areas of Montreal.

    Though that isn’t true anymore and hasn’t been so for a long time, of course.

  86. Rob Grigjanis says

    I look forward to the US Army fielding a sports team called the My Lai Marauders.

  87. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Actually, the Montreal Canadiens have a nickname: “Les Habs” (that’s what “h” inside the C stands for). Habs is short for “habitents”, which may be roughly translated as “French Settlers” — maybe “Pioneers”.

    Doesn’t seem insulting.

    Overall I think the most degrading logo in team sports is Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians. If you are unsure about that, make a picture in your head of, say, the “Birmingham(Alabama)” Negroes with a big, flapping-lipped, nappy-headed shiny-toothed grinning Uncle Tom face emblazoned everywhere. I really don’t know how Chief Wahoo has survived all these years.

  88. says

    Those of you who think the local name isn’t at all comparable to the DC team’s name might want to learn a little of our local history first. This calm, quiet farm country (now) was once the scene of one of the most awful wars with the Indians — look up the Dakota War of 1862. Point of Minnesota ‘pride': the largest mass hanging in US history took place in Mankato, MN: 38 Indians publicly killed for a brutal war that burned across this part of the country, with atrocities on both sides. Opportunists cut off bits of the dead men’s skin and sold them as souvenirs. And those 38 dead were just the ones Lincoln didn’t pardon: something like 280 other Indians had their sentences commuted to imprisonment. Half of those died thanks to the miserable conditions they were kept in.

    What started the war? Mass starvation and desperation, and an agent whose response was “if they are hungry let them eat grass or their own dung”.

    The government treated them as subhuman, the white locals killed, executed, starved, and chased them out of their homelands, and now we name sports teams after them.

    Otrame pointed out the jarring idea of calling a sports team the New York Jews. It’s worse. Imagine a soccer team called the Auschwitz Jews. Sorta the same thing.

  89. mikeyb says

    If they got rid of the name, it would instantly become part of the GOP platform, and GOP candidates would have a new litmus test to pass by their teabagger constituency to show that they are true conservatives. Seriously.

  90. The Mellow Monkey says

    Crissa

    Go fuck yourself, Caine. Sick and tired of your Caine uber alles opinions. No one can disagree. You must get veto.

    As a matter of fact, yeah, Caine should get a fucking veto on this. Caine is one of the people getting slapped in the face with this name. The Fighting Sioux has some impact on all of Indian Country–as it’s part of a whole complex of issues when it comes to attitudes toward NDNs–but the greatest and most important impact is on the people who were branded with that name.

    Unless you are one of the peoples affected by this name, the best you can ever be is an ally. Even if you’re Indian yourself, it’s not your fucking battle beyond assisting as an ally. The peoples affected by the name are the ones whose voices matter and need to be heard.

    And you’re sure as hell not acting like any kind of ally I’ve ever seen.

  91. erik333 says

    @36 vole

    I can’t imagine anybody in scandinavia being offended if some sports team calls themselves “vikings”, some would probably approve.

  92. says

    Crissa:
    I’d forgotten…
    You authored the Cliffs Notes: How to be a complete Asshole.
    Ever think for a second that Caine has a legitimate concern here? Or is there some other reason for your idiotic outburst?

    The second question was rhetorical.

  93. Pierce R. Butler says

    Much of the racism problem comes from putdowns promoted by opposing teams’ fans. I once told someone at a party that I’d been working on computer problems for a Planned Parenthood clinic in Tallahassee, and he shocked the whole room by shouting, “Sterilize the Seminoles!”

    ~40 years ago Stanford U decided to rename their team from something racially obnoxious, and asked the students to nominate a replacement label. IIRC, the administration rejected the most-voted for monicker, the Robber Barons. (sigh)

    Considering all the teams named after local industries (Oilers, Packers, Steelers, …), why doesn’t ND call their guys the Frackers?

  94. says

    Thumper:

    Sioux is a real First Nation.

    No, it is not. This is one of those subjects where most people don’t know the first fucking thing about, so here’s a bit of advice: shut the fuck up and educate yourself. “Sioux” is name which means enemy. The whole damn business with ‘Sioux’ is a clusterfuck, and yes, some plains people or tribes use it, however, the bulk do not. I certainly do not use it, I’m Oglala Lakota, not Sioux.

    This whole fucking thread, outside a few people, is utterly infuriating. It’s so great to know all the white people have a bead on this situation and know just how I and other Indians should feel about things. All of you can take a short fucking walk off of a tall cliff.

  95. says

    Tethys:

    Caine (hug) I’m sorry that this is happening.

    Thank you. And thanks to you, TMM, Mythbri, Beatrice, Anthony K and others who are fighting the good fight on this one. I’m out.

    Crissa:

    Go fuck yourself, Caine. Sick and tired of your Caine uber alles opinions. No one can disagree. You must get veto.

    I wrote one comment before I left to go into town today. One fucking comment, Crissa. I didn’t even have much to say, being disgusted at the immediate whitewashing. I don’t know where in the fuck you got your twisted notion that no one is allowed to disagree with me. People disagree with me all the time, and they don’t magically end up in the cornfield, you grudge filled twit. It’s not my fault people don’t like you, Crissa. That’s on you. Try posting on topic in the future, would you?

  96. footface says

    For what it’s worth, etymonline.com has:

    Sioux:
    group of North American Indian tribes, 1761, from North American French, short for Nadouessioux, sometimes said to be from Ojibway (Algonquian) Natowessiwak (plural), literally “little snakes,” from nadowe “Iroquois” (literally “big snakes”). Another explanation traces it to early Ottawa (Algonquian) singular /na:towe:ssi/ (plural /na:towe:ssiwak/) “Sioux,” apparently from a verb meaning “to speak a foreign language” [Bright]. In either case, a name given by their neighbors; the people’s name for themselves is Dakota, literally “allies.”

  97. Erp says

    As Pierce pointed out Stanford changed in the early 70s (pretty much a decision by the then president Lyman after the Native American student group talked to him and one he stuck to despite a lot of alumni pressure). We ended up with ‘Cardinal’ (the color not the bird or job position) as the team name; the tree is officially the band mascot not the school mascot (and the band can’t even decide what type of tree). The Native American student group is very active (the largest student run event on campus is their Stanford Powwow every Mother’s day). Only the older alumni still mutter and wear red feathers.

  98. says

    This American Life episode Little War on the Prairie covers some of this history. (Links to listen or read the transcript). I’m not sure it mentioned the origin of the name”Sioux”, but it does cover the very shamefull way those native to the pre-statehood MN area were treated. Oddly it just happened to come up on my podcast list last week as I was visiting the area.

  99. No One says

    Carrisa,

    At this point an apology to Caine might be a good idea. And for the record I’d rather face adversity next to a person of Caines character any fucking day. Even if she metaphorically rips my head off for saying so.

  100. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) – In 2008, this logo was voted best in the National Hockey League by The Hockey News.

    That annoys the crap out of me. It would be like Advertising Age voting Aunt Jemima the best logo. The Hockey News has, sadly, never been terribly progressive.

  101. ChasCPeterson says

    Stanford U….Robber Barons.

    It would have been just too perfect. Ah fail yore sigh.. (I used to be a roofer at Synergy.)

    Considering all the teams named after local industries (Oilers, Packers, Steelers, …), why doesn’t ND call their guys the Frackers?

    hah. Good one.

  102. carlie says

    Considering all the teams named after local industries (Oilers, Packers, Steelers, …), why doesn’t ND call their guys the Frackers?

    Given that they could then use the taunt “Frack you” to the opposing team, it’s a gold mine waiting to happen.

  103. Stardrake says

    In the interest of fair play for NDSU: They’ve been trying to dump the name for years. The problem is that the ND Legislature kept passing laws demanding they keep the name–and when they finally stopped, the “fans” put it on the ballot! (It failed, but they want to try again….)

    This StarTribune story has a summary of the saga: http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/159092885.html

  104. Rey Fox says

    This StarTribune story has a summary of the saga

    Bloody ridiculous. And the Sioux supporters have literally no argument beyond “CHANGE BAD!”

  105. bad Jim says

    I knew that ‘Sioux’ was the wrong name for the group that includes the Lakotas; I did not know that it was derogatory. Wow.

    ‘Washington Generals’ would probably not be the best new name for the team; it’s probably trademarked anyway. ‘Insiders’, ‘Lobbyists’, ‘Bureaucrats’ and ‘Representatives’ probably wouldn’t be too popular. How about some imagery from the Revolutionary War, like ‘Volunteers’ or ‘Regulars’? ‘Bluecoats’ would be appropriate, since George chose that color, but there might be a lack of enthusiasm in certain quarters.

  106. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Tethys

    The word Sioux is a Cherokee word that means “enemy” in reference to the Lakota/ Dakota tribes who they were in regular conflict with over territory.

    Oh; I did not know that. At school I was taught about the “Sioux” nation, which was apparently composed of many smaller tribes but banded together frequently for various purposes, war being noteable among them, who lived on the central plains. I was totally unaware of the etymology :-/ thanks for filling the gap in my knowledge. I’ll not be using “Sioux” any more.

    @zhuge

    Would the fighting Mexicans be cool? How about the fighting Nigerians?

    …The name need not be racist in itself, the context matters.

    Put like that I suppose it is problematic :-/ Sorry I didn’t see it before.

    @ Caine

    No, it is not. This is one of those subjects where most people don’t know the first fucking thing about, so here’s a bit of advice: shut the fuck up and educate yourself. “Sioux” is name which means enemy. The whole damn business with ‘Sioux’ is a clusterfuck, and yes, some plains people or tribes use it, however, the bulk do not. I certainly do not use it, I’m Oglala Lakota, not Sioux.

    I’m sorry my ignorance offended you; I was completely unaware of the etymology and was under the impression it was a genuine First nation name, rather than one forced on you. Even if it was genuine, the stereotype of being “Warlike” is still problematic, and it’s not cool to name yourself after an ethnic group which is not your own anyway, and I’m sorry I didn’t see that before.

    Basically, sorry I was a douche.

  107. chrisv says

    Did I miss it? But no mention of “Canuck”? Not necessarily a derogatory term, but occasionally used in phrases such as “dumb Canuck”. Canadians, all ethnicities, don’t seem to dislike the term. Go Vancouver!

  108. says

    How is the racism of a DC team owner relevant to a North Dakota team?

    I’m sorry, but what makes you think UND doesn’t have the same kind of history? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Engelstad

    North Dakota has much bigger problems to handle right now anyway.

    pretty sure that’s not for you to decide.

    Maybe you should also worry about […], the Vikings

    clueless twit can’t tell the difference between the dominant group naming a team after their own history, and a bunch of racists naming a team after an inaccurate label for an oppressed people because they wanted a logo of something that kills bisons (AKA NDSU)

    and the Cardinals

    you’re either a bullshitter or more ignorant than I ever imagined anyone being, given that cardinals are birds (and a kind of color).

    Why are members of the Sioux tribe trying to keep the name if it is offensive to them?

    dude. there’s no such thing as “the Sioux tribe”. Different Lakota/Dakota tribes and members have different opinions about the name. Because they’re not a hivemind, or an undifferentliated “other”.

    In the interest of fair play for NDSU:

    *raised eyebrow* what the fuck does NDSU have to do with this? NDSU’s mascot is a bison

  109. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @31. Tethys :

    Everybody else. The word Sioux is a Cherokee word that means “enemy” in reference to the Lakota/ Dakota tribes who they were in regular conflict with over territory. Some Lakota tribes have incorporated it, but others do not appreciate it one bit for very good reason.

    Thanks for that bit of info – like others here, I had no idea that was the case either and will refrain from using the term from now on.