"Mascots are supposed to inspire those who play for the team, but just as often they provide amusement for those who don’t.
This otherwise silly subject takes a serious turn when we start talking about Native American nicknames. Some 600 high school and college teams have dropped such names, but over 2,400 still use them.
It seems pretty obvious to me such pejoratives as Braves, Blackhawks and Redskins need to be replaced – and hundreds have been. But that shouldn’t mean all team names should automatically be changed.
There is no better example of good intentions gone awry than the mascot mess Eastern Michigan University stirred up a few years ago. The athletes there called themselves, at various times, the Normalites, the Men from Ypsi and, from 1929 to 1991, the Hurons.
Despite the fact that the Hurons are an authentic tribe indigenous to the region, and that the school created no offensive logos or rituals, a movement arose to change the name. Many of the arguments for doing so were of the “How would you like it?” variety."
Get the Story:
John U. Bacon: Mascot Madness
(The Ann Arbor Chronicle 9/18)