This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
On the subject of mascots named after American Indians, most of us can probably agree on two points:
• The names weren’t selected to demean Indians. On the contrary, names like “Braves,” “Chiefs” and “Warriors” certainly were adopted because they communicate strength and power. Many sports teams select names that instill a sense of awe, perhaps even to intimidate. After all, few teams are named “Puppies” and “Wimps.”
• Some schools portray their Indian mascot in ways that many today would consider embarrassing, such as when war-painted non-Indians dress up in feathered headdresses, execute tomahawk “chops” and scream faux war whoops.
While many schools make an effort to portray their Indian mascot in culturally sensitive ways, it’s not always easy to control how young males choose to behave in support of their teams. If it were, there would be no need for security guards.
Read more »