Native American Sports Names
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Native American Sports Names
Native American Sports Names
Over the last couple of years Native American names sports teams
have been under fire.
Any and all teams that even slightly relate to Native Americans’
names, mascots, logo, or traditions, have faced questioning or
Teams on every level, from college teams, to minor league teams, to
professional league teams, face this issue.
With the uprising of controversial team names, it is important to find
out why this is such an issue, and how to best handle this issue.
The College in Tallahassee has
used the nickname “Seminoles”
In 2005, the NCAA voted to ban
schools that used “hostile and
abusive” logos from the
postseason, but the school was
exempt because of their
upstanding relationship with the
Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Findings: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta organization has gone by
Braves since 1912. The nickname Braves
is a reference to the warrior subset
within certain Native American tribes
and reportedly was given to the then-
Boston based organization due in part
because of their owner, James Gaffney,
Gaffney was member of New York
City’s political machine, Tammany Hall,
which honored the Delaware chief
Findings: Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have
gradually been decreasing
the use of their Chief Wahoo
Findings: Washington Redskins
Dan Snyder, the team owner, has
announced the start-up of an
organization to help struggling Native-
American groups across the country.
Two members of Congress are strongly
against the name Redskins being used
by the Washington Redskins of the NFL,
calling it offensive to Native-Americans,
and a racial slur.
Mr. Snyder wrote a letter to fans that
talked about the values, traditions and
pride associated with the name the
team has born since 1933.
Findings: Chicago Blackhawks
Why is the Washington Redskins
organization and the NFL facing so
much controversy over their team
name, Redskins, while the Chicago
Blackhawks are facing, what seems to
Is it because the Blackhawks won the
Stanley Cup (championship trophy for
the NHL) in 2010?
Is it because the Blackhawks are in a
city not named D.C.?
Is it because hockey is not as popular
in America as football?
Findings: Did you know?
Other Native American Names in sports.
St. John’s Red Storm
Golden State Warriors
Illinois Fighting Illini
Central Michigan Chippewa's
William and Mary Tribe
University of Utah Utes
Alcorn State Braves
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego State University
Depending on the situation and background information, the solution could vary. If
the team name reflects a rich tradition of the sports organization and Native
American people, then I would recommend that the name stays. So many buildings,
schools, and monuments are named after an individual or group of people, as an
act of remembrance and honor.
1. A sports team name that remembers and honors a Native American tribe
respectfully, then that name should be defended, and not vacated.
2. I would also recommend that the organization give back a lot (money, time,
goods) to the Native American group that they represent, along with an open,
and ongoing relationship.
3. The organization should have majority approval, and support from the Native
American group, as well as being honest, respectful, and sincere with all of their
interactions with that group.
There are still many team names that relate to Native
Working within one of these organizations requires
understanding the severity of carrying a Native American
name, and knowing the proper way to represent that
tribe, in the most respectful way possible.
The importance of sincerity, respectfulness, and honesty
cannot be undervalued.