Editorial: Time for all teams to drop Indian mascots
"Critics of Indian nicknames for athletic teams - whether high school, college or professional - say such nicknames are a racial stereotype, and demeaning and insulting to Native Americans.

We agree. And we can’t think of a nickname more demeaning that the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

Consider some of the actions by mascots and fans that add to the insult, such as the Atlanta Braves’ “tomahawk chop,” painted faces and war whoops.

Closer to home, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks continues to be embroiled in a controversy over its “Fighting Sioux” nickname, and a lawsuit filed against the NCAA challenges its restrictions on the university over its use of the nickname.

One reason the university resisted change was that wealthy alumnus Ralph Engelstad donated $100 million to build an athletic arena on campus, but threatened to pull his gift if the nickname was changed. The arena opened in 2001, but the fight over the nickname continues."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Illinois dropped its Indian mascot; others should change (The Rapid City Journal 2/27)

NCAA Update:
Status of Indian Mascot Policy (April 28, 2006)

NCAA Executive Committee Decision:
Native American Mascot Appeals Decisions (April 28, 2006)

NCAA Policy on Indian Mascots:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois - http://www.uiuc.edu/dialogue/index.html
Retire the Chief - http://www.retirethechief.org

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