The Racial Justice Reckoning Over Sports Team Names Is Spreading
Trump Trump weighed weighed in in this this week week on on the the Washington Washington NFL NFL team team and and the the Cleveland Cleveland Indians Indians baseball baseball team. team. Considering Considering changing changing their their names, names, names that native Americans have long said are racist. Both franchises announced they're reviewing their names and changes maybe coming before. 2020 NFL and Major League Baseball season's begin perspectives producer ABC is Eric Mollo has more with America In the midst of a reckoning over racial inequality. More athletes are continuing to speak out across the sports world. By noon, Stanford was right. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Cuyler Murray announcing he'll be taking any during the playing of the national anthem this year, one of several players pledging to stand in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. Erica. Over the past week, There's been another reckoning in sports, whether to change team names or logos that contain Native American emblems. In stereotypes. There is time to Move for Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians announced they're considering changing the team's name manager Terry Francona feels now is an appropriate time for change Older. We're never trying to be disrespectful. I still feel that way, but I don't think that's a good enough answer. Today. The announcement comes a little over a year after Cleveland removed its chief Wahoo logo, a cartoonish caricature of a native American man long considered racist. It also came shortly after the announcement at Washington's NFL franchises weighing whether to change its team name, which is widely regarded as a racial slur. Julian Brave Noise Cat contributes to ESPN is the undefeated He writes that the team name references Native American skin color. In the bloody scouts of indigenous People taken his bounty by white colonists. If a group of people are speaking out about the racism of a team logo, it's It's quite the thing to go and claim that actually know you are honoring them, and it's hard for me to imagine the same thing happening for another racial group in the United States. Team owner Dan Snyder has bound for years. He never changed the name. Saying the term actually embodies honor, respect and pride. Protesters and advocacy groups have called for change for decades. But on ly in the face of mounting economic pressure did Snyder finally announced they're reconsidering investors with major sponsors from Pepsi. FedEx in Nike sent letters asking the companies to terminate their relationship with Washington unless it agreed to a name change, which you know kind of exciting on the one hand, but the reality it reveals about the power of capital. In our culture and society is a little bit of a downer for me. But those two franchises don't stand alone. A world without native mascots is the ideal world. Nick Marin is a member of this a pony tribe in a staff writer for the New Republic any kind of imagery like that and specifically as it relates to native people, because we have been made invisible, forcibly the idea that we would You get rid of the walking Jim NFL team and keep the Kansas City Chiefs It speaks a certain hollowness that I think this kind of corporate social justice campaigns often involve the Kansas City Chiefs. Atlanta Braves in Chicago Blackhawks are among professional franchises that continue to employ Native American imagery on their jerseys in their team names and in cheers by fans has become a very normalized thing, which I think is common place with a lot of systems and forms of institution. Oppression. These things we don't think of them in the moment as being particularly egregious because they've become so normalized in society. Those franchises aren't following the lead of Washington in Cleveland. None of them announce name changes, though Atlanta is reportedly considering no longer allowing the Tomahawk chop chance at games, and the Blackhawks went on to say that their team name and logo symbolizes an important native American figure. And they aren't moving toward formal change. It reduces you to a caricature there, 570 plus tribal nations. That's 570 plus tribal cultures. Any kind of idea that, like there is one kind of Indian is very reductionist kind of view of US. President Trump even weighed in this week via Twitter, saying the names of Washington's in Cleveland's teams Signify strength and not weakness, and they're merely considering the change to be politically correct. The president's statement in the very decisions of these franchises do raise questions isn't important to distinguish between the offensiveness of each individual team name, and is any of this iconography, actually honor or respect the Native Americans? Or in same team names and logos on our native people. Is that merely perpetuating cultural appropriation and the use of stereotypical Native American imagery, Martin says. It's not that slippery of a slope. If you're saying our mascot, our team name is not as racist as Washington NFL team still an admission that it is races, Washington's head coach, Ron Rivera, who is one of four minority head coaches in the NFL, told The Washington Post. It would be awesome if the team changed its name. In the National Congress of American Indians have long opposed the use of Native American stereotypical imagery in professional sports. As professional sports franchises are choosing to reexamine these issues in the midst of America's reckoning over race relations, they're faced with a new choice. Well, economic pressures determine if they choose to rename their teams or will they listen to decades long calls from Native American advocacy groups to eliminate the use of these emblems of the only reasons happening so swiftly is because their this is something that native people years of ground Work into and so what this moment kind of larger cultural reckoning has become. It's just kind of an impetus to say Okay, Now is the time to finally get rid of these things.