What’s In A Name? The Good and Bad of Mascots in Sports
We've heard a lot of names for teams like Warriors, Braves, Indians, Redskins, Rebels and others that some consider offensive. But the question is, are they? The State of Oregon is fighting the battle by making any schools that are high school and below change mascots to something that is not offensive to Native Americans. In addition, the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota continue to fight to keep their name against those that are offended.
The point could be made about sports franchises all over the country at every level. People have complained about Native American names, but not exclusively. Even the Rebels of Old Miss had some controversy surrounding their long time mascot because people got offended by their choice.
For those that are genuinely offended, there is some room for argument, but there needs to be room for reason to exist. For many organizations that have used nicknames like the Indians or Chiefs or Braves, they are simply tipping the hat to a group of people that are an integral part of this nation and its history. If one who is offended would check into it, by and large the idea of honoring someone is true. There are very few that are genuinely trying to create offense with their mascot.
The problem with many of these stories is that there is a group of people who have made a job of it to be offended professionally. They go from school to school and team to team to make changes because it might offend someone most certainly somewhere. That means taken to extremes, this might mean that we bid goodbye to sports team names like the Fighting Irish, Vikings or Ragin' Cajuns. Hey, someone might just be offended by those somewhere, right?
It's all an example of political correctness run amuck. I'm all for respecting people and what they believe, but we need to relax. Ultimately, someone's life is not going to be ruined by a sports team being named the Indians or the Braves. If we are going to be offended by something, let's be offended by some of the slaughter that is happening on a daily basis in Africa. Let's be offended by something that Congress does to misspend our money. Being offended by something that doesn't directly affect you positively or negatively is a waste of time and trouble on everyone's part.