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NCAA Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events


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#1 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 07:23 AM

Straight from the horses arse, er, mouth...

In an effort to set a new world record in stupidity, political correctness category, the talking heads of the NCAA have set a new mark in idiocy that will not soon be equaled. According to a policy statement posted on the NCAA web site, the college sports association has announced it will require member schools whose teams bear names of native American tribes, and of English-equivalent terms, such as "Braves" and "Indians".

NCAA, INDIANAPOLIS --- The presidents and chancellors who serve on the NCAA Executive Committee have adopted a new policy to prohibit NCAA colleges and universities from displaying hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery at any of the 88 NCAA championships.

"...as a national association, we believe that mascots, nicknames or images deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin should not be visible at the championship events that we control."

The key word here is "deemed", which means considered or 'thought to be' , in other words, someone's opinion. Read the whole unbelievable damn sorry story HERE

The problem with political correctness is that it feeds into itself, creating a slippery slope leading to a black hole into which everything we, as Americans, hold near and dear will ultimately disappear. Look for state names such as Indiana, Utah and Michigan to be removed from the history book and from the American lexicon as well. The ones for whom I feel the most are the children - they will be reduced to playing cowboys and blank. :shrug:

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#2 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 08:28 AM

The issue is not as simple a s they make it out to be. I have no objection to Florida State's use of the word Seminole (a people indigenous to the state) or the dignified depiction of a member of the tribe on their logo. In fact the tribe has no problem and has gone on record saying so.

The Fighting Illini makes sense to me in much the same way. A few nicknames and or mascots may perpetuate stereotypes. The grey area is where you discuss a term like "Redskins". The term was pejorative and I wish that the NFL team had never adopted it but their depiction is again dignified. I have no problem with it but I can see where others do.


But I don't think that you can dismiss the whole idea out of hand either. Perhaps the NCAA needs to actually look at the circumstances in each case.
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#3 OFFLINE   Mikey

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 09:58 AM

How about "Fighting Irish"? I'm offended. Like all Irish are belligerent! I'll fight anybody who says we are!

#4 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 10:35 AM

I think we are seeing another example of misplaced political correctness masquerading as people caring about other people's feelings.

While I do understand that some of these mascots can be seen as a mockery and taken as insulting by some people... I think that there are far worse things happening in this country that people are getting by with on a regular basis.

It is easy to pass a law or institute a rule that says "no redskin mascots because it is offensive"... and that might make some people feel like they are being kind and nice... but when behind their backs they still insult folks, and exercise their prejudice in more harmful ways like extortion, abuse, hiring practices, ostracising in the neighborhood, etc... then these kinds of laws or rules really don't mean a whole lot.

#5 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 07:13 PM

The simple fact is that sports teams are mostly named after things that people admire and wish to emulate. But it animals (Tigers, not Lambs), birds (Eagles, not Hummingbirds), historical characters (Minutemen, not Cowardly Draft Dodgers), or historical ethno-cultural groups (Spartans, not Cheese Eating Surrender Monkees).

Its an HONOR, not a shot. Only a person with a chip on their shoulder could be offended.

And, what about the Irish? What about the offense some people find at Devils, Demons, Angels, Saints, and such like? What about Appalachian State's use of a shoeless, toothless, shiftless hillbilly as its mascot? What about all the PETA crazies and all of the animal names? What about the militaristic things like Generals? Or things like Mountaineers, Hoosiers, Cowboys, or Sooners (who all killed Indians)? What about Greek historical groups like Spartans, Trojans, etc? What about ...

The NCAA needs to do its J O B, which it does very poorly, and let the alumni, boards, and state legislatures worry about our business.

#6 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 07:40 PM

The simple fact is that sports teams are mostly named after things that people admire and wish to emulate. But it animals (Tigers, not Lambs), birds (Eagles, not Hummingbirds), historical characters (Minutemen, not Cowardly Draft Dodgers), or historical ethno-cultural groups (Spartans, not Cheese Eating Surrender Monkees).

Its an HONOR, not a shot. Only a person with a chip on their shoulder could be offended.

And, what about the Irish? What about the offense some people find at Devils, Demons, Angels, Saints, and such like? What about Appalachian State's use of a shoeless, toothless, shiftless hillbilly as its mascot? What about all the PETA crazies and all of the animal names? What about the militaristic things like Generals? Or things like Mountaineers, Hoosiers, Cowboys, or Sooners (who all killed Indians)? What about Greek historical groups like Spartans, Trojans, etc? What about ...

The NCAA needs to do its J O B, which it does very poorly, and let the alumni, boards, and state legislatures worry about our business.





It CAN be an honor. It can also be something else. LIke I said the depiction of the Senminole tribe by Florida State could very easily be described as an honor. But when a team has a Native American mascot and calls itself "Savages" well it isa stretch to call that an honor.

Again it all comes down to how it is done.
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#7 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:56 AM

It CAN be an honor. It can also be something else. LIke I said the depiction of the Senminole tribe by Florida State could very easily be described as an honor. But when a team has a Native American mascot and calls itself "Savages" well it isa stretch to call that an honor.

Again it all comes down to how it is done.

Agreed. So for the NCAA to decree that *all* team names / mascots that relate to Native Americans are immediately offensive seems a bit heavy-handed.

#8 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 09:52 AM

Agreed. So for the NCAA to decree that *all* team names / mascots that relate to Native Americans are immediately offensive seems a bit heavy-handed.



I woulda gree that the NCAA action was excessive and heavy handed. I just take issue with the notion that ALL ethnic stereotypes are acceptable. Some are not and I don't buy the idea that tehy are all an honor. But this action definitely throws out the good (or at least acceptable) with the bad.
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#9 OFFLINE   BlackHitachi

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:12 PM

I woulda gree that the NCAA action was excessive and heavy handed. I just take issue with the notion that ALL ethnic stereotypes are acceptable. Some are not and I don't buy the idea that tehy are all an honor. But this action definitely throws out the good (or at least acceptable) with the bad.


I totally agree with this!! At the same time i think its only fair to ask the groups that are affected! Being half Black and Half Native i don't want some white guy telling me i have a chip on my shoulder because they could not understand if the names are insulting or not!! Also i don't think most have the right to call them selfs any kind of native names. Worriers, Braves what ever unless that is there tribe..
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#10 OFFLINE   jbach

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:30 PM

Nice to see a nuanced discussion here. It might be easier for some who don't understand the problem with redskins to imagine a modern team calling itself 'the blackskins' or the swarming yellow horde. By the way, I'm fightin' Irish by education. And when we played Navy over there, a fair number of the real Irish rooted for the midshipmen. They found no allegiance to Irish leprecaun.

Too bad the NCAA couldn't figure out a better way to highlight the issue than a blanket policy that is easy to poke holes through.

#11 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 05:22 PM

I try to be open minded as far as being offended goes... because lots of things affect each of us differently, for various cultural or historical or religious reasons... and there are but a handful of mutually agreed offensive things... so undoubtedly there will be things that offend some and not others, and if you aren't offended it is really hard to explain/communicate the concept sometimes.

Kind of like trying to explain why a joke is funny... it either is or isn't... and not everything is funny to everyone.

But I do think we can get out of hand, and find almost anything to be offensive to someone... and I hope we are enlightened enough to draw a line between the things that are actually causing harm (and get rid of them) vs things that are just lip-service ways to appear like we care about each other.

As a for instance... you can strip the offensive mascot from the school, but what if they don't admit "those" students or hire "those" people when qualified... In a perfect world, none of that comes into play... but choosing between the evils, I'd rather fix the more harmful problems first.

On the other side of this argument is a less-offensive, but equally intriguing (at least for me) discussion...

Why the need for mascots and nicknames anyway? Couldn't the teams be just as easily identified with the name of their school (or city/state in the case of professional teams)? Then we'd get around the whole "is it offensive or not" confrontations.

#12 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:00 PM

The question, of course, is not "is this offensive" to this person or that person.

In this life, lots of things are offensive. The name Brigham Young or Notre Dame might offend some not in those religions. Devils or demons might offend someone whose religion says there really is a devil and that he/it is not to be celebrated. Cowboys might offend some Indians. Sooners certainly SHOULD offend most any Indian. Generals might offend the peacenicks. The fact that a particular school is THE University of some state might offend people associated with the dozen or more fine universities in that state. The fact that a stadium formerly named for war dead is now named for the Papa John's pizza chain might be offensive. The playing of Dixie by the Citadel or Ole Miss' band might be offensive. The fact that the Big 10 uses a coin that features a long dead America Firster might offend somebody. The halftime antics of bands like Virginia's, which feature sterotypical plays on charactistics of the other teams' locations or vocations, might be offensive. The fact that teams like Duke have a racial or socio-economic cast far different from the lilly white private school rich kids that populate the school might offend. That Jerry Falwell's college is called "Liberty" might offend. The praise of an "unclean" animal as a mascot by Arkansas might offend. WVU's use of a gunshot as a rallying point, might offend. That Duke and Wake Forest own millions of shares of tobacco stocks might offend. That a school is named for robber barron Vanderbilt might be offensive. That teams, made up of kids who did not answer their nation's call, call themselves Leathernecks, Generals, Commodores, and such like, might offend those who did, as might sports announcers' liberal use of war termanology like "the trenches" "soldier" "blitz" and "warrior" for what is, a children's game, and not anything like military service. "Hail Mary" pass might offend. As might the fact that many school's knicknames, North and South, are derived from Knicknames earned by units from those states in the Civil War.

The NCAA's own logo, which features a pagan Greek icon, might offend. As might its close relationship with the Anheuser-Busch companies.

Its called life. In life, you might get offended. I get offended every day.

There happens to be no law against it.

The question is, of course, a legal one. Does the NCAA have to power to tell the State of Florida, et al, what it can do with its public property, against the expressed wishes of its elected represenatives.

Florida State University has lawyered up. It will spend a lot of money on this, and several other teams will piggy-back on FSU's work.

The NCAA will lose, because there is simply no basis for it to tell other people what to do with their property. It will deserve to lose.

Don't like Seminoles? Run for the Florida Legislature. They own the place and are the only ones that can change it.

#13 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:07 PM

I am offended because there is no "Fighting Euromutts" team in the NCAA. We Euromutts need some honor also. This is just more PC sillyness and nothing more.
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#14 OFFLINE   durl

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:21 AM

I agree that this is just PC "let's not take the chance of potentially offending a people-group even though we personally don't know anyone who belongs to that group" baloney.

One of the funnier incidents along these lines is from a few years back when the University of Iowa baseball team refused to play an out-of-conference school because they were nicknamed the "Braves." (Iowa has a policy that they don't play out-of-conference opponents with potentially "offensive" Indian-related names. Although they WILL play them if they're IN conference...that's the first hypocritical part of the story.) But Iowa's nickname is attributed to an Indian chief, Chief Hawk Eye.

I agree with the earlier poster who inferred that no school picks a mascot in order to mock it. They pick something to be respected or honored. Even with the "Redskins," the original intent was to pick a strong, noble warrior as a mascot. But some people act like they might as well have called them the "Washington Drunken Injuns" (which has been a terrible negative stereotype)when that was in no way what the team was trying to convey.

#15 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:39 PM

This is merely an extension of the "zero tolerance' mentality where blanket policies, thus all decisions, are made beforehand and actual circumstances are not taken into consideration and individual judgments not permitted. Like "zero tolerance", this idiotic NCAA edict does not take into account any actual facts of the matter, nor does it seek the truth. It is simply a benign, but much more insidious version of the old Marine slogan of the Viet Nam era, "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out.!"

Finally, this is just another sad commentary on our institutions of education, both secondary and post-secondary, that we seek not the truth, nor do we seek equity; we no longer trust others to think for themselves. Before long, we will be living in a "traffic-cam" society where machines, both human and mechanical, will issue tickets and ultimately, decide our fate.

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#16 OFFLINE   BlackHitachi

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 04:07 PM

I am offended because there is no "Fighting Euromutts" team in the NCAA. We Euromutts need some honor also. This is just more PC sillyness and nothing more.


Hey i hear ya!! My great grand dad played Baseball in the Negro Leagues!! I love buying the throwback jerseys! Black Barons and so on!! I also understand when Eurotrash call a person of color a savage thats not an honor. I also undersand that daily life will offend some people in ways it wont others. I am a big guy 1305 on Sat Love corn rows but alot of red on the necks don't like that? Why well it offends them. (LIFE)
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