Sports Team Names with Native American References Essay
1. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Retired its Mascot in 2007, but kept its controversial name “the Fighting Illini”.
2. University of Massachusetts Amherst: Changed their name back in 1972 from the Redmen to Minutemen.
3. University of North Dakota: Dropped their name after failing to receive approval from tribes under a NCAA settlement. The team currently does not have a nickname or mascot.
4. Driggs, Idaho high school: Had dropped its longtime “Redskins” nickname out of respect for Native Americans.
Where is the line drawn and who is allowed to draw that line? I do not believe a team name has ever been created to insult or offend the participants, and although I am empathetic to those who are offended, I feel that this issue has been taken out of context. It has been argued that “intent” is needed to be offensive. The intent behind the decision to name the team “The Redskins” was positive upon conception. Specifically speaking, the Redskins name was born in 1933 to honor then-coach Lone Star Dietz, an American Sioux (Ritz, The Blaze). The name was given as a