NCAA isn't fond of racist mascots either

April 20, 2011

From the NYT:

The University of North Dakota will face penalties for continuing to use its Fighting Sioux nickname and American Indian head logo, said Bernard Franklin, the executive vice president of the N.C.A.A. He said that a new North Dakota law requiring the university to use the nickname and logo did not change N.C.A.A. policy, which says the nickname and logo are offensive.

A new state law? Nice to know that this isn’t some historical accident but that they keep on refreshing their idiocy. Summary of North Dakota HB1263 (full text pdf)

The intercollegiate athletic teams sponsored by the university of North Dakota shall be known as the university of North Dakota fighting Sioux. Neither the university of North Dakota nor the state board of higher education may take any action to discontinue the use of the fighting Sioux nickname or the fighting Sioux logo in use on January 1, 2011. Any actions taken by the state board of higher education and the university of North Dakota before the effective date of this Act to discontinue the use of the fighting Sioux nickname and logo are preempted by this Act. If the national collegiate athletic association takes any action to penalize the university of North Dakota for using the fighting Sioux nickname or logo, the attorney general shall consider filing a federal antitrust claim against that association.

Well, well, well. Look at the vote count. Are you shocked that this was a mostly party-line vote?

Anyway the NCAA apparently left the University of North Dakota an out if…

it received approval from the state’s Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes.[from NYT article-bm]

In case you missed it, the “either” refers to me.
It might as well be the Washington Niggers

According to this, one of the named Sioux tribes voted to retain the name and the other tribe hasn’t weighed in yet. Interesting. Now I’m wondering why the state legislature didn’t just wait on the second tribe’s opinion?
Disclaimer: I may possibly be a lasting fan of a collegiate athletic opponent of one of UND’s NCAA-participating teams.

No Responses Yet to “NCAA isn't fond of racist mascots either”

  1. becca Says:

    When did the NCAA get on the virtuous side of this issue?


  2. The NCAA has been on this for several years now. I know first hand as an alum from another fighting’ so and so school that is phasing out it’s name and mascot. I can’t wait until they get rid of the Fighting Irish. How is that one not offensive? To play devil’s advocate, should cities and states with Native American names also be changed?

    And while were are on the mascot topic, the NCAA should make a rule that no two schools can have the same mascot. I’m tired of all the wildcat and husky teams out there.


  3. katiesci Says:

    Ugh, I am so embarrassed to be from ND (and go to UND) due to this mess but thank you for posting this. I’m going to link it on my Twitter and Facebook so some of the long-standing fans of the nickname get a sense for what the opinion is of it outside their bubble. It is racist indeed and I love your example of a comparable nickname.

    The supporters insist it’s not racist because so many of their Native American friends love the name and don’t find it offensive. I think they don’t realize that they, like everyone else, tend to surround themselves with like-minded people and that if they had friends who thought it was offensive… they probably just aren’t their friends anymore.


  4. David/Abel Says:

    You know, I wanted to give these jokers the benefit of the doubt: that despite the party-line vote of haters Republicans, perhaps the initiative was led by a prominent Sioux politician.

    There is precedence here in North Carolina for defense of a Native American mascot: the University of North Carolina at Pembroke was originally established in 1887 for the education of local members of the Lumbee tribe and a move to change from “The Braves” was opposed. But this opposition came from Lumbees within the school and community who saw this as a point of pride. Almost a quarter of UNC-P student today are of Lumbee descent. However, a decision was made in 1991 to add the red-tailed hawk to the logo – the Braves remained the nickname but the mascot became the red-tailed hawk, indigenous to Robeson County home of the campus.

    Former UNC-P Chancellor Joseph Oxendine wrote a book awhile back about the tradition of Native Americans in sports and in this article notes his exceptions and objections to the use of Native American terms as mascots for non-Native American organizations.

    Well, back to North Dakota – couldn’t find a Sioux politician. But I did find this comment on a Dakota blog that contained this passage:

    Once again non-Indian “powers that be” have reneged on an agreement with American Indian citizens of the Dakotas. The agreement to retain UND’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname only if all Indian nations in ND approved was broken by the ND House with the passage of HB 1263. Representatives who voted in favor of this bill clearly have no sense of honor, no respect for a group of citizens who are tired of being patronized, tired of lies, tired of being dismissed and disregarded in the ongoing debate of what constitutes racial and cultural discrimination. The Standing Rock Lakota did not approve of the use of a logo that treats them as a mascot. They are the descendants of Sitting Bull, who was assassinated because he would not sign onto the Dawes Act, which legislated the theft of most of what was left of land the U.S. government had recognized as Indian land by treaty.


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