Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Not to distract everyone from the Sheehan circus, but did you see what the NCAA has done now? They’ve decided that teams with "Native American" mascots cannot host NCAA-sanctioned tournaments, and also will not be allowed to display their mascots & team names at tournament games away from their campuses after a certain date. I remember a few years ago when this issue was really flaring up and I still subscribed to Sports Illustrated, before that mag turned into the athletic version of "US" magazine. The magazine ran a poll asking "Native Americans" if they were personally offended by these mascots. Somewhere around 80% of them had no problem with the college mascots, and only between 65-70% of them had a problem with the more offensive (IMHO) name "Washington Redskins". The NCAA apparently didn’t consult any of these "Native Americans" before making this decision, and tribes in Michigan & Florida are now concerned that their "moi-chendising" deals with the schools in their areas will stop producing revenue.

I think this decision smacks of the worst sort of paternalistic racism. "Oh, those Indians don’t really know when they’re being offended; I guess we’ll have to do this for their own good." Great. The organization that can’t allow college students to have a Fish & More platter at Long John Silver’s paid for by an assistant coach, because THEY MIGHT BE CORRUPTED BY THOSE TWO EXTRA HUSH PUPPIES AND THE LARGE FOUNTAIN DRINK – is now going to take on racism in America? Forgive me if I think this will do about as much good as Robert Downey Jr. filming JUST SAY NO commercials or Shawn Kemp doing radio PSA’s for abstinence programs.

I don’t have a problem with "Native American" activists protesting obvious slurs like "Redskins" or "Chief Wahoo", the mascot of the Cleveland Indians. Even though the majority of Indians don’t have a problem with these symbols (per the SI poll referenced earlier), the numbers are closer to a toss-up than the other college mascots. I just hope some University out there has a President with some testicular material and a bevy of alumni lawyers willing to file a pro bono suit against the NCAA asking them to, in the words of THE ROCK……SHUT YOUR MOUTH(S) AND KNOW YOUR ROLE!

-by: Russ from Winterset, House of Sage Contributor

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