Opinion Piece

    Sports teams shouldn’t be allowed to use a First Nation’s name or caricature as their logo-(Haru)

It is common knowledge that everyone has stereotypes. What’s your first impression of aboriginal people if you haven’t seen them before? It has been a long time since the first sport team used mascots as logos or names of First Nations. Was it a correct decision? In my opinion, teams shouldn’t be allowed to use a First Nation’s name or caricature as their logo because that offenses them.

Time flies: the confliction between Aboriginal people and five sports teams (Atlanta Braves, Red Skins, Chicago Blackhawls and Edmonton Eskimos) hasn’t been reduced, only gotten worse and worse. Says that the survey “Native American mascot controversy” from Wikipedia, Native Americans are protesting for the given stereotypes based upon them because they believe all the stereotypes, whether positive or negative, are harmful because they promote false or misleading associations between a group and an attribute, fostering a disrespectful relationship. In America, Native Americans are treated differently. Just like in “Totem” by Thomas King: “Listen to that,” said Jimmy, knocking the sawdust off his pants. “It’s still making that noise” (Maybe if we ignore it, it will stop singing. It might even go away to disappear or something) (King) This two sentences showed that Native Americans are being ignored by the government. They are forced to stop learning their culture and lost a lot of rights and experienced stereotypes.

According to “Sorry for being a stereotype” by Rita Pyrills, stereotypes cause people to believe all Aboriginals are the same which stops them from learning the history of the true facts about aboriginals. Professors of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota: “Since the first Europeans made landfall in North America, native peoples have suffered under a weltering array of stereotypes, misconceptions and caricatures.” (Lumbee)   On one hand, Native American sports mascots can reinforce stereotypes in people because they tapped people in the lives they used to live and themselves they used to be; on the other hand, if the sports teams keep using the mascots or names of the Aboriginal people without permission, on contrary, stereotypes about sports teams are increasingly difficult to change because they treat Aboriginal People misrespectfully.

Last but not least, maybe some of the Native Americans do not care about using their mascots as sports teams’ logos or names, but the stereotypes people gave them still offenses them. Some aboriginal people’s identity is based on given names and images, but that’s not their true identity. Not all Native Americans are the same, but they are just like everyone else who also have dreams. Stereotypes to Native Americans are not exactly right which will somehow cause damage to them. In my opinion, sports teams should reduce using their mascots for names or logos, that’s the common decency and respect to Native Americans.


Works Cited

KingThomas. Totem. 5 March 2018. <http://mcdowellenglish.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/1/0/56106105/totem_by_thomas_king.pdf>.

LumbeeWilkins&. Native American mascot controversy. 3 March 2018. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_mascot_controversy>.