The sports blog on Cleveland's CBS affiliate has an article on racist NFL team names and logos. They cite a poster created by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in conjunction with their report, "Ending the Legacy Of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful 'Indian' Sports Mascots" (downloadable PDF).
The sports blog's article begins:
An American Indian organization has shed new light on the context of how offensive and racist sports team images like the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins is to their community.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) published a powerful poster featuring two baseball hats that each have a stereotypical racist image of a Jewish man and Chinese man to show it has the same connotation as the Cleveland Indians. The hats were titled "New York Jews" and "San Francisco Chinamen."
The quote on the poster reads, "No race, creed or religion should endure the ridicule faced by the Native Americans today. Please help us put an end to this mockery and racism by visiting www.ncai.org".
More after the crumpled orange penalty flag...
There is far too much material in the NCIA report itself, so let me quote its Executive Summary:
"Indian" sports brands used by professional teams were born in an era when racism and bigotry were accepted by the dominant culture. These brands which have grown to become multi-million dollar franchises were established at a time when the practice of using racial epithets and slurs as marketing slogans were a common practice among white owners seeking to capitalize on cultural superiority and racial tensions.
Since 1963, no professional teams have established new mascots that use racial stereotypes in their names and imagery. In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) established an extensive policy to remove harmful "Indian" mascots. There has also been a strong trend to remove harmful "Indian" mascots at the high school level, including 28 high schools that have dropped the "R" word as their mascot’s name. Hundreds of tribal nations, national tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, and individuals have called for the end to harmful "Indian" mascots.I would commend both the blog and (more importantly) the entire NCIA report for your review, my brothers and sisters. Although I'm as pale as a salmon's underbelly (phrase credited to Kitsap River), my dear departed mother was born in Foyle, Oklahoma, some time between 1903 and 1908, and said that a distant ancestor of hers was Native American. Nonetheless, I am in deep agreement with the movement to eradicate racial epithets from being glorified in professional sport teams' names.
Yet, contrary to industry best practices, calls for name changes by tribal nations and Native peoples, and a sea change at the youth, amateur, collegiate, and professional sports levels, a number of professional sports leagues and teams have opted to retain harmful "Indian" brands, rather than truly honor Native peoples. The most discussed in the media of late has been the Washington football team, which uses the term "Redsk*ns." This derogatory name was created in 1932 – while the federal "Civilization Regulations" were still in place, confining Native people to reservations, banning all Native dances and ceremonies, confiscating Native cultural property and outlawing much of what was traditional in Native life. That also was the year before owner George Preston Marshall instituted what would become a 13-year league-wide ban on African-American players from the NFL. (The Washington football team did not integrate until 30 years later, when Marshall was forced to do so).