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Home | Sports | MLB |

American Indian group releases simple graphic to show racism in sports logos


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The graphic you see here may look like something out of The Onion, but it is dead serious. The National Congress of American Indians has produced an image putting the racially-charged stereotypes of sports organizations into a pretty simple context.

No one would ever think to call a New York sports franchise “The Jews” and make its logo a giant smiling face of a man with dark hair and wearing a kippah. The same goes for a “Chinamen” team in San Francisco.

So why is it alright for the Major League baseball team in Cleveland to call itself the “Indians?”

Further, the red-skinned, big-toothed logo of an American Indian is not an imaginary, satirical illustration like the “Jew” and the “Chinaman.” Rather, it is actually the Indians’ team logo.

But it looks quite a bit like the first two, doesn’t it?

american indiana stereotype hat poster

[Photo: NCAL; H/T: Political Blindspot]

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  • truthyjenkins

    For every indian who finds it offensive, there’s about ten more than really don’t give a rat’s ass and in fact find it charming or honorable. It’s as if you get some sort of entitlement by claiming that something offends you, when really you just need to PFTO and let everyone else have fun.

  • TheRock

    I have yet to meet an Indian…and I’ve known quite a lot…who finds team names like “Indians”, “Redskins”, “Braves”, etc., to be offensive.

    If anything, it keeps the great heritage we have, and the history of the Native American Indian in the public eye.

    Let it die…

    • stopdamadness

      I bet you say this a lot, “My best friend is black” and likes the n word. Just because you personally hang with some stupid people (let’s not romanticize all people of color) who don’t take offense–the MAJORITY of us native folks find these logos entirely racist and offensive.

      • Seriously

        tell me why you find The names indians or Braves offensive.

        • AdBastard

          It doesn’t matter WHY. If Native Americans find it offensive then it IS offensive. The End. Feelings are feelings, and you’re not going to logically argue people into changing how they feel about THEIR heritage.

          And who is anyone to co-opt someone else’s heritage anyway? No ethnic or population group that people are born into should be a “mascot” either. At it’s most base level you’re saying this or that group of people is on par with animals or inanimate objects.

          And how would you feel if whatever group you’re a part of was badly imitated by tens of thousands of people each week in humiliating and inaccurate ways. The tomahawk chop? The war cries?

          I weep for our Native American friends when I see things like that happening.

          • Birdie

            “No ethnic or population group that people are born into should be a “mascot” either”- what about the San Diego Padres. Padre means father in Spanish, and you can still see their iconic friar logo on their jerseys. What’s the difference chief?

        • Seriously

          I’m waiting stopdamadness. there is no response because you don’t know why those names are offensive. you just like every other bleeding liberal just need something to complain about.

      • Eric Symons

        Majority my ass… If by ‘majority’ you mean about 3%, then yes

      • Jay

        According to every poll I’ve ever seen on the matter, 80%-90% of you Native Folks DO NOT find it offensive. That’s a very large sway against your argument.

    • Native pride 64

      I’m Cherokee and I don’t find the names offensive 1 bit. the Liberals need to quit wasting government money on stupid issues like this and spend it more constructively.

  • BIGDADDYT47

    every indian i have ever known don’t get upset about this (i’m 1/4 Blackfoot myself), they see it for what it is an honor. indian were some of the toughest warriors of their time, and that’s why teams use them. the warrior mentality. now if teams had a logo of an indian walking into a bar, or stumbling out drunk, i could see their point. these are just a small group of pi$$y little punks hellbent on ruining anything that’s a tradition or historical in the USA. if it were anything else they would have complained and soforth 50, 60, 100 years ago. that window is closed move on.

    • Ron Noname

      What color is your other foot?

      • BIGDADDYT47

        haha phallus head

  • Guido the Wop

    Where can I get the New York Jew hat?? Looks like Howard Stern

    • Frank Spero

      right on pisan !!!!!!!

  • Pudgy Ashburton

    Being 100 % Jew, I love the NY Jews hat. But it should not be for a sports team, but a law firm.

  • PCU

    With a government shutdown, debt ceiling deadline, unemployment, homelessness, and the price of gas at $3, who cares about a team name that has been around for 100 years. There are bigger issues in this country than offending every last person in it. I don’t see Pirates, Bengals, 49ers, or us northern Yankees being offended and protesting every last unimportant item in this world. C’mon people get a life, care for something that matters.

    • Seriously

      Amen PCU!! Oh wait someone might find that offensive. LMAO

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  • Jakel1

    The next thing you know, some group will come forward representing the animal kingdom complaining about using names like: Bears, Bruins, Dolphins, Blue Jays and Cardinals. Where does it all end? The names have been around for several years with no real problems until some liberal group of do-gooders comes along to rock the boat and stirring up trouble for the rest of us who enjoy the world of sports.

    • AdBastard

      Would you enjoy the sport any less if the team was called something like the Cleveland Comets or the Atlanta Bombers? “Tradition” isn’t a reason to keep doing the wrong thing. Being civil means owning up to mistakes — even if you inherited them — and fixing them.

      • Seriously

        Why is the name Braves or Indians offensive???? nobody seems to be able to answer that. i’d love to see the New York Italians. or would it be ok if we changed the name to the Cleveland American Indians. This is such a joke.

        • NoJoPa

          Actually, the name “Indians” and “Braves” aren’t, in and of themselves, offensive. Chief Wahoo of the Indians, and Chief Nockahoma (generally disused, but recently featured on a cap before people realized how racist the hat was) and “The Tomahawk Chop” ARE offensive. They are misappropriations of a culture that was systematically wiped out near the point of extinction.
          Look, if an Indian bought the Braves and said, “I like the chop, and I’m bringin back the teepee in the outfield,” I would think it in poor taste, but he would have the right to do that. Rich white guys don’t get to make that choice for them.

          • Jay

            The Florida State Seminoles are endorsed and supported by the local Seminole tribe. The Tomahawk chop is done at Florida State games. Yes, the SAME tomahawk chop that is done at Turner Field in Atlanta. Now tell me it’s offensive.

          • NoJoPa

            It ISN’T offensive at FSU because FSU has a close relationship with the Seminole tribe. The tribe has given the OK for FSU to do “The Chop,” therefore it isn’t offensive because the people who “own” (for lack of a better term) that culture are on-board. The Atlanta Braves (as far as I know), have NO connections with any tribes or do anything to help the plight of the people who’s culture they’re misappropriating. See the difference?

          • Jay

            Yes the Atlanta Braves (as do many teams named after Native Americans) work with local tribes. They don’t have the benefit of being connected to a single tribe like Florida State, but they do a lot of work with local Georgia tribes.

            The Tomahawk chop is exactly the same in Tallahassee as it is in Atlanta. It was an FSU alum who helped bring that celebration to Atlanta. You can’t call it offensive in one place and praised in another. Do the Braves need a permission slip from Florida State so it won’t be offensive? No they don’t. The organization has done nothing wrong.

            On another note, all the complaints about the Chief Noc-A-Homa stuff is ridiculous. The man who portrayed the Chief and set his gimmick up in the stadium was Native American.

          • doesntgivearatsass

            Actually, it would appear that by virtue of being the rich white guys who own the team, they do get to make that choice for them. Otherwise we wouldn’t have those team names, now would we?

  • Devilrider

    Or how about “The Chicago Negros”? Or “The Miami Cubans”? Or “The L. A. Mexicans”? Or “The Atlanta Cotton Pickers”? Or ala Ariel Castro – “The Cleveland Child Molesters”? Or “The Arizona Illegal Aliens”? C’mon. Team names should not defame any group (even birds as in the losing Arizona Cardinals).

    • Seriously

      how is The names Braves and Indians “defaming” anyone????????

    • Ben

      I think you missed the point. Indian is not a derogatory team name. Most of the names you listed would be find but to throw in criminal terms is ludicrous. Indians, Braves, and Redskins are not criminal nor do they describe criminal activity and should not be compared to “child molesters” or “illegal aliens”.

      • kgbdk

        I think the only name that is genuinely offensive is Redskins. It refers to skin color and if you’ve ever met a Native American, most of them are not red-skinned just as most black people are not actually black.

  • gzimm

    Funny that until your particular group is involved, people tend to think that it’s ” much ado about nothing”. If I hear the old ” no one that I know is insulted about that term”; I’m going to scream. You obviously live a very shelte

    • Eric Symons

      So you hear on TV that the Cleveland Indians won…. and you feel INSULTED?? Sheesh, get a life!

  • Seriously

    it’s all bullshit. I’m Italian and i could give a rats ass if they put a Greasy Guido on a hat and called
    them the New York Guido’s. Seriously people, this is what you have to worry
    about. And it’s not being used or mentioned in a derogatory way. Do they have a
    problem with the name Indians or the picture? Either way they should be honored
    that they are represented as a people by a major league team. And if the
    picture offends you, it’s a caricature. It’s not making fun it’s making it
    light hearted. Just like the oriole on Baltimore’s
    hats or any other team in any league. So what happens next PETA is going to be
    pissed we use animal names for teams and have caricature pictures of them. This
    country is turning into a bunch of complainers and cry babies. Every friggen
    nationality cries about everything. I understand not liking the name Redskins
    if you are an American Indian, that is like the “N” word I guess. But not
    liking a picture is crazy. And I get a couple hundred years ago we stole the
    Indians land but there is nobody alive now that had anything to do with that,
    and you live on free land and can do whatever you want on it including making
    Millions and Millions of dollars a year on casinos. So who has really sold out.
    You are not true to the people who lost there land hundreds of years ago so don’t
    pretend now you are offended buy a picture on a hat.

  • Clownboy64

    I MUST have the NY JEWS Hat! Where Can I buy one?
    Maybe the Indians will shut the fuck up if every NY JEW bought an NY JEWS hat!
    Enough of this nonsense and this bullshit sensitivity argument.
    They are more interested in the names of franchises than getting their land back that was stolen by the “white man!”
    Hey guy in the White House pretending to be a leader, give the Indians back their land, then make them pay taxes on the billions they earn from casino revenue.
    END OF RANT

  • theslowrider

    I want a NY Jew cap! Where can I get one?

  • ERL050

    Fighting racism with more racism is just plain stupid. It’s doubly so when you consider that Jews and Chinese Americans were singled out in this add simply because of their racial stereotypes vs. their involvement with the Indians logo.

  • Jimmy

    I’m 100% Swedish. I was born in (and currently live in) Sweden. Does that mean I should get all pissy because of the Vikings? “Vikings never had horns on their helmets when they were out stealing, killing and raping, you racists!”. No, because that’s not the point of naming a team like the Indians, Braves, Blackhawks, Vikings, Warriors, or whatever it may be, is that hey are meant to be strong symbols of the warrior mentality. The ones who are racists are the ones who turn it into an issue

  • Incredulous

    I’m 6’9″ and 350 lbs and I find the name “Giants” completely offensive… can we have it removed, please. Thank You.

    • Skinny Pete

      New York “Big Ass Dudes” it is.

  • casador190

    Let’s see. Boston Celtics (and they don’t even pronounce it correctly) Minnesota Vikings, Syracuse Orangemen, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, USC Trojans, off the top of my head, teams named after ethnic (all white) groups…

    • NoJoPa

      If you can’t tell the difference between a name that is adopted by a local culture (Vikings in Minnesota, Fighting Irish adopted by the Irish Catholic Church), and a team name or logo that appropriates the culture of a group of people that were nearly wiped out by the people that now claim to ‘honor’ them with what amounts to slurs and crude caricatures…I feel sorry for you.
      When you meet a Trojan or Spartan that has a problem with how they’re portrayed, then let me know. Your Syracuse Orange argument is nonsensical, as it is a color. Period. Not a race of people.
      Think harder.

      • Jay

        It’s funny how people will use the internet to post their opinions, but not even bother to use the internet to back up their claims.

        I’ll just ask this question. Does the majority still rule in this Country? If it does, then why won’t anyone pay attention to what Native Americans have to say on the matter? Why do we conduct polls if we ignore the information when it goes against our arguments? It’s not even close. These polls are consistently in the 80%-90% range of Native Americans who are just not offended. Not even when they are being told they should be offended. I’m sorry, but I’m more interested in finding out what they think instead of telling them how they should think.

        If 1,000 people of Irish decent were polled on being offended by the nickname ‘Fighting Irish’, 90% would probably say they don’t have a problem with it. But that poll would hold it’s weight where the poll of 1,000 Native Americans with the same percentage of votes gets thrown out as invalid. I’m sure it’s more offensive to be told what to believe than any logo or nickname would be.

        • NoJoPa

          As a matter of fact, no, the majority doesn’t rule this country. Majority rule is more often than not tyrannical. If majority rule was the rule of the land, slavery and segregation may still be in effect. The majority was certainly in favor of both of those things when they were overturned. Just because the majority likes something doesn’t make it right. A majority of Germans were in favor of Hitler, too.
          The ‘poll’ that everyone likes to cite that says 90% of Indians are not offended by the word “R–skins” is seriously flawed. Despite being outdated, it only asked 1,000 people, who self-identified as Native American, what their opinion was. It did not go to reservations to ask this question, and it did no research to see if the people polled were actually, you know, Indian. It may be true that 90% of Indians don’t care, but still, 10% do find it offensive. What’s the cut line? 15%? 25%? 51%? There are roughly 3 million Native Americans in this country. 10% means roughly 300,000 find the term offensive. That’s a lot of people.
          There is a difference with the Fighting Irish nickname. It is a nickname that is adopted by an Irish Catholic Institution. If actual Irish want to call themselves the Irish, then go ahead, they own that. Dan Snyder, or the owners of the Cleveland Indians, or the Atlanta Braves, they don’t own native culture. It is insincere to say “We’re honoring you!” by using slurs and mascots that are caracitures of a culture.
          As I said above, I’m not aware of the Braves working with local tribes. If they do, and the tribes are in accord with the Braves using The Chop and a tomahawk in their logo, I’m OK with that. I hope the Braves are building the tribes better schools and helping with some of the serious problems that face Natives.
          I’m not some whiny liberal racked with white guilt and lead detective of the PC Police. Sometimes the right thing just needs to be done.

          • Jay

            So the majority of electoral votes doesn’t elect our President? The majority vote at the Supreme Court doesn’t determine the outcome of cases? Majority absolutely plays a big role in this country.

            So you are telling me that the 300,000 people have more of a say than the 2.7 mil who don’t care or want a change? Screw them right? What about the dozens of schools ON RESERVATIONS who have Redskins as mascots? Screw them too I guess. It doesn’t matter if “Fighting Irish” was adopted by an Irish Catholic Institution. By your logic, if 10% of the people have a problem with it, then it needs to be changed. They didn’t ask me if it was okay to portray my ancestors that way. I’d be part of the minority so I guess I’m the only one who would have a say. Screw the other 90% because majority means nothing. Or at least it doesn’t when it completely negates my argument.

      • casador190

        Orangemen are the Protestant Irish from Northern Ireland.

      • doesntgivearatsass

        You cleary have no idea where the team name Orangemen originated from. Not to mention, Syracuse changed their team name to the Orange years ago. If you knew anything about the Syracuse area or history you might know what Orangemen actually referred to. The original Syracuse mascor was the “Saltine Warrior,” and he sure as hell wasn’t European. Do some research.

  • Eric Symons

    I have a twin brother. I am OUTRAGED when I hear anyone mention the Minnesota Twins! Change it now!

  • PitbullsAreLovable

    Black people are allowed to get away with calling us crackers and killing us. Black on white hate crimes are on the rise. Groups like The Black Panthers, The NAACP, as well as rappers force this mentality. I’m sick of white people being brainwashed into thinking they deserve it. We do not. I’m no one’s punching bag, that is for sure. I won’t bow down and kiss your racist a$$es.

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  • Steve

    As a Caucasian-American, I am ashamed of how we beat the Native Americans and won the fight for their land. I believe we should rewrite history books and purge the memory of what he have done, how we did it and to whom we did it. He who wins writes the history books and we need to try to change the perception that we are conquerors and make the story that we were given this great land and we are nice to everyone.

  • Chinaman

    I think that would be awesome. Someone submit a petition to change the names!

  • captaindandan

    I LOVE IT –GREAT PARODY

  • Neko

    The name “Indians” itself is in no way racist. It is the imagery of the logo itself that is, and that is only in regards to Native Americans in depicting them in exaggeration to have sharp red skin like an apple. The logo itself is what is offensive. Not the name.

    Indians itself is in no way a racist term, meanwhile term Chinamen or Jew is indeed a racially derogatory term. Not a good comparison actually. Cleveland Indians is to what would be equivalent to San Francisco Chinese, or New York Jewish. Not that offensive in that regard now is it?

  • JF

    I am offended by …
    The Washington Wizards, because the team’s name encourages the practice of witchcraft and sorcery.
    The Milwaukee Brewers, for promoting alcoholism and associating sports with drunkenness.
    The Green Bay Packers, for glamorizing the slaughter of animals.
    The Duke Blue Devils, for evoking demonic worship.
    The Miami Hurricanes, on behalf of all those who have had their lives torn apart by tropical storms.
    The Dallas Cowboys, on two counts: insensitivity to gun violence and cruelty to animals.
    The Minnesota Vikings, because Vikings were vicious bandits who raped, pillaged and killed many of my ancestors.
    The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, for suggesting that fisticuffs are an appropriate way to resolve conflict.
    The New Orleans Saints, for insensitivity to Jews, atheists and many others. What happened to freedom of religion?
    The Chicago Blackhawks, for celebrating Native American warriors who went to war against the United States of America.
    The Arizona Diamondbacks, because the serpent is a biblical representation of evil and wickedness.
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for romanticizing seafaring violence.
    The South Carolina Gamecocks, for propagating the illegal and cruel practice of pitting fowl against each other in fights to the death.
    The San Diego Padres, for cultural insensitivity toward Hispanics.
    The New York Yankees, because my ancestors fought in the Civil War on the side of the South.
    The Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels, because my friend’s ancestors fought in the Civil War on the side of the North.
    The Oakland Raiders, who encourage hostility and lawlessness in our young people.
    The New York Giants, because giants frighten small children.
    The Houston Texans, because they do not, in fact, represent Texans. Many of us support the Dallas Cowboys, despite our offense at the team’s name.
    The Pittsburgh Pirates, because they exalt thievery and poor dental hygiene.
    The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, due to insensitivity to Americans who are allergic to bees.
    And all teams with the names Bears, Eagles, Lions, Wildcats, Tigers, Gators, Cougars, Hawks, Longhorns, Bucks and Bobcats. Has anyone asked them how they feel about being made to serve as mascots? I believe I must represent the exploitation of animals who have no voice.

    Yes, folks. It’s just that ridiculous.


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