Native American Mascots On Sports Teams Essay

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Imagine having your identity being mocked and disrespected on TV daily. You probably wouldn’t be too happy. This is a constant injustice that Native Americans have had to deal with since the beginning of sports. Different variations of Native American imagery have been used as mascots for sports teams of all types and of all levels. There are countless high school, college, and professional athletic teams that label themselves as the Indians or have mascots that are known as Indians. Since the 1960s, people have been fighting this injustice by trying to abolish Indian mascots on sports teams. The 1970 abolishment of “Little Red”, the OU Indian mascot sparked a chain of Indian mascots that have been banned in sports since then (Tramel, 2002). The once mascot for OU, “Little Red”, represented the Oklahoma Sooners for many years before being abolished from the University after students spoke up about the demeaning messages that the mascot embodied.
The presence of Native Americans on the University of Oklahoma’s campus began around 1908 when the first “Indian club” formed (Kettle & Masters). This club sparked the beginning of Native American involvement in football games in the 1930s. New traditions developed at the OU football games such as the crowning of an “Indian Princess” and “Young Indian” dancing during the Halftime performance of the Homecoming game (Kettle & Masters). Some people could view this halftime tradition as progress for the Native Americans with their…

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