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Stereotypes should not linger in sports

A response to Indian Chant/Tomahawh Chop

Churchill argues that even the names Braves, Indians, and Chiefs are not appropriate to be used as monikers for sports teams because any ethnocentric mascot names will hurt certain groups of people. Meanings that are funny to one may not be the same to others. To understand and communicate one another, we should begin to think in their shoes. The analogies Churchill used, which draw between Indian mascots and other ethnic groups, are very effective. For example, he said that to be a counterpart to the Redskins, an NFL team could be called Niggers. Most Americans know that this word is considered a taboo to use. There are more examples Churchill used to argue that mascot abuse can make most people even more uncomfortable when the mascots are related to gender and sexual preference. For example, team names like the St. Louis Sluts, Boston Bimbos, and Detroit Dykes, can be very disturbing and degrade ones dignity. A reasonable person would not consider these monikers are funny if they are called by these titles. This further demonstrates that being sensitive and respecting other peoples cultures and backgrounds promote unity in our diverse multi-cultural society. Therefore, I fully agree with Churchills statement that all ethnocentric mascots are examples of blatant racism. My consent is based on two factors: equality and morality. First, we are all human beings; therefore, everybody should have equal rights. The opposite side in the article emphasizes that a few American Indians have no right to take away national enjoyment of its leisure time by complaining; however, by saying this, their assumption is not based on equality. If we start to use mascots that humiliate their identities, they will fight for their right of dignity in a greater extend. It is the same logic that we should apply to respect the root and culture of American Indians. Will we consider Napoleon Bonaparte less great because he was too short? Will we make fun our own ancestors? The answer is obvious, of course not. We have the need for proper dignity and respect, no matter who the majority or the minority is, including American Indians. Second, we should change or avoid using these culture-sensitive monikers. If we do not name a sports team related to African American, Mexican American, or other ethnic groups, why we should use one after Native American? The process of making such change may not be easy or inexpensive, but it is the right thing to do. Furthermore, sports teams can use other names to amuse audience, such as Trojan for the football team of the University of Southern California and Black Knights for the sport teams of the United States Military Academy. Such mascots present bravery and mysterious images that create similar if not greater effects to the audience. There is no room for ethical and racial stereotypes in sports. It is time to make a change.