Native American Mascots Research Paper

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The issue of the Native American mascots used by sports teams such as baseball, football and hockey in the United States were first brought up by Native American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. The movement had protested the use of Native American related references in two teams in particular, the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins. The Cleveland Indians had used Chief Wahoo as their sports logo, whereas the Washington’s use of “Redskins” as their team name is still, to this day, controversial due to the nature of the name as a derogatory slang (King, 2010.)
It is unclear how or why such names were picked out as sports teams’ names and mascot or logo, but it is seen that European Americans in the 19th century has started the ‘trend’ of doing so. Fraternal organizations as well as institutions had adopted words or materials belonging to the culture of the Native American peoples, which undoubtedly allowed us to conclude the origins of many nicknames, mascots and symbols of present day sports teams’ names. An example of such cultural adoption would be the change of Boston Red Stockings to Braves in 1912. James Gaffrey, the owner of the Boston Red …show more content…

Louis Sockalexis had played for the old Cleveland Spiders, and as the first Native American to have had played in the Major League Baseball, the team had supposedly changed its name to the Cleveland Indians in honor of Sockalexis (The Plain Dealer, 1915). In this paper, it will become more apparent or obvious that the immediate reasoning or basis of naming or renaming teams is to honor the culture of the Native Americans, as shown in the prior examples. The most infamous controversy of the present day relating to the issue would be the Washington D.C. Redskins. Originally called the Boston Braves, the team was renamed to the Redskins when they moved to Washington D.C. in 1937 (Sports

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