Do Sports Teams Not Care About Native Americans?

Angelina Ruiz, Writer

How is it not offensive to call a Native American a “redskin”? The NFL football team “Redskins” is all about racially showing our nation’s first people. Their mascot and team colors also prove it. In a New York Times article written by Jeremy Engle, “Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?”, he writes, “But to many Native Americans — locally and afar — and others, the act is a disrespectful gesture that perpetuates negative stereotypes of the nation’s first people.” There are so many sports teams representing Native Americans in a racist way, I don’t see how the people who came up with the ideas think it’s okay to do so.


Andrew Keh wrote “Tomahawk Chops and Native American Mascots: In Europe, Teams Don’t See a Problem” For The New York Times and it explains “Rachel Herrmann… wrote a blog post on criticizing the team after noticing “a bunch of people dressed up as ‘Indians’ on a train platform one afternoon and learning that they were fans of the club.” Those people that we’re dressing up like that aren’t Native Americans and that isn’t right to pretend the race they aren’t. They don’t like that and others should respect that fact. People may not realize how much it affects Native Americans– they are not okay with it, but people continue to chant and dress up like them for sporting events. Maybe they just don’t care how they feel about it. The way others should look at it is, how would you feel if someone that wasn’t your same ethnicity mocks your race?

“In the 1970s and 1980s, the Cleveland Indians mascot would come out of his tee-pee and do a dance when Cleveland hit a home run. This is mocking the Native American people and not honoring them at all,” wrote Jesse Abelson in his piece “Why Native American Mascots Should Be Banned” article for the website Bleacher Report. The Cleveland Indian team for MLB is another example of a sports team imitating their nationality. The former APA President Ronald F. Levant, EdD talked about how Indians feel about this whole thing in an article titled “Summary of the APA Resolution Recommending Retirement of American Indian Mascots” where he said, “Many American Indians report that they find today’s typical portrayal of American Indian culture disrespectful and offensive to their spiritual beliefs.” People need to realize that they have feelings too and being mocked at hurts. Native Americans have feelings as well and would not like to be mocked.