Native American Mascots, Indigenous Peoples, Washington Football Team, Native American Mascots, Washington Football Team, American Indians, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Children, Indigenous Activists, Racist Mascots

Native American Mascots, Indigenous Peoples

Cleveland Guardians changed their name. But racist symbols in sports remain.

Cleveland Guardians name change isn't the end of fight against racist symbols in sports

8/1/2021 6:53:00 AM

Cleveland Guardians name change isn't the end of fight against racist symbols in sports

Indigenous activists and mental health researchers say schools and sports teams should move faster to remove Native American imagery.

and Massachusetts have passed similar measures, citing the hostile nature of certain names. Last month, the Kansas City Chiefs announced it would retire its on-field mascot, a horse named Warpaint, but it will keep the team name.Phil Gover, the founder of Sovereign Community School in Oklahoma City , said that the changes happening now go beyond what he thought would be possible in his lifetime. Gover, who is of Paiute, Pawnee and Comanche descent, was one of the original plaintiffs in a case that in 2015

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temporarily revokedthe trademark rights of the Washington Football Team after a court ruled that the team’s name at the time was disparaging.Team owner Dan Snyder said repeatedly that he would never change the team’s name, Gover noted, but public pressure — in large part following the police killing of George Floyd —bolstered the argument of Indigenous activists. Prior to that, “We didn’t have a lot of leverage over the NFL,” Gover said.

Soon, local teams of the same name, like the Oklahoma high school football powerhouse Tulsa Union, followed suit.The school “just seemed like one of those places where you were never going to get them to change that,” Gover said. “And I was wrong. I was totally wrong. The momentum of all this happening, we can’t overstate how much it matters.”

But public consciousness fades quickly, he said. “If folks want to make a move to push districts to make that change, now is the time.”The removal of Native American mascots is just the first step to improve the lives of Indigenous children, Gover said. The next is better representation of Indigenous histories and cultures in textbooks. Studies of Indigenous people are rarely part of public school curriculum — and when they are mentioned, it is often only in the context of the past. Only 13 percent of public schools standards in the United States portray Indigenous peoples in a post-1900 context,

according to a 2015 study.Now, he is concerned that amid the national debate over critical race theory in schools and the ongoing battle over how much of America’s past students should learn, Indigenous stories will be further erased.“Our kids will see benefits from not seeing [Native American mascots] and being in healthier environments,” he said, but he wonders: “What are we teaching our kids, and are we going to be allowed to teach our history?”

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Educate Not eradicate GuardiansNative Always be racist They are no racist symbols in sports!....It's war against my Native American people..Same names & symbols are used on Rez all over America..Redskins/Chiefs/Warriors/Indians ..This war against Native America will never end we must educate Not eradicate GuardiansNative

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