Tomahawk chops and native american mascots: in europe, teams don’t see a problem image buffalo ben, the official team mascot for the belgian soccer team kaa gent. Hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful “indian” mascots.
Philip deloria, in his 1998 book playing indian, says this notion of appropriating indians as a symbol of national identity begins long before the boston tea party and continues into the present day — and gover cites indian mascots as a prime example.
While the history of colonization and marginalization is not unique to the americas, the practice of deriving sports team names, imagery, and mascots from indigenous peoples of north america is a significant phenomenon in the united states and canada. Ohio is at the center of a nationwide debate over whether it's ok for schools to have native american mascots and logos.
I have watched indian children from 9 year old girls to 17 year old boys weep as a direct result of the damage caused to them by so-called indian mascots and team names this is why some of us get so furious.
Usa today sports asks kevin gover, director of the national museum of the american indian: do native american mascots honor or offend usa today sports the washington redskins name and logo has been criticized for being derogatory. The use of american indian mascots as symbols in schools and university athletic programs is particularly troubling because schools are places of learning these mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and too often, insulting images of american indians.
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. The authors of the article concluded that although most native american activists and tribal leaders consider indian team names and mascots offensive, neither native americans in general nor a cross section of us sports fans agree.