Teams like the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians have always used Native American imagery and mascots in their branding. Advocacy groups accuse them of cultural appropriation and playing on racial slurs. Are their claims justified? Is the use of Native American imagery a sign of respect for their culture? Is their offence justified?
The use of native American names and mascots is not appropriate
Damages young Native Americans' self-esteem
Seeing their culture mocked and laughed at damages the self-esteem of young Native Americans.
Borne from racism
The names and mascots are borne from a place of racism, not respect.
Native Americans have a history of marginalisation and mistreatment in the US.
Native American imagery and symbolism in sports is a clear example of cultural appropriation.
Spreads harmful stereotypes
The depiction of Native Americans in sports culture perpetuates harmful and prejudicial stereotypes.
Offence is subjective
If Native Americans find it offensive then it is offensive.
The use of Native American names and mascots is appropriate
Using knights as mascots is acceptable. They are European warriors. Why would using Native American warriors as mascots be any different?
A mark of respect
The teams employ Native American imagery and nomenclature as a sign of respect and honour.
It can be tasteful
Many sports teams are sensitive to Native American sensitivities and use their imagery and symbolism in a tasteful way.
Native Americans aren't offended
Those taking offence aren't the group impacted by the names and mascots.
This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 10:11 UTC