Dana Williams deposited “But It’s Honoring! It’s Tradition!”: The Persistence of Racialized Indian Mascots in Sports on Humanities Commons 1 year, 4 months ago
Native American mascots and team names are remarkably common in the United States. Whereas there are only a handful of White ethnic team names, hundreds of high school, college, and professional teams reference Native Americans. This phenomenon is also unique because these teams are not typically owned by Native Americans, nor are they composed of Native American athletes, nor are the teams or schools usually located in areas with large Native American populations (with only a few exceptions). The most common nicknames include Braves, Chiefs, Indians (by far the most popular), Redmen, Savages, and Warriors, as well as numerous specific nations, such as Apaches, Hurons, Mohawks, and Seminoles. For most of the history of this practice, few non–Native Americans have complained about these team names. However, sports are not as apolitical as people typically assume. They are often a battleground for struggles over important societal symbols, including those related to race.