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Author Topic: Native American team names--your thoughts.
Shane Roe
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The NCAA has come out and said that any college that has a name that's offensive to Native Americans will be unable to play come February 2006 in tournament competition. While some caricatures of Native Americans are indeed offensive--one school in particular, the University of Utah, has the backing of the Ute Tribe for their team name the "Utes". Rather than making a blanket statement that all schools with such names should be banned, why not leave it up to the tribes themselves, to vote amongst themselves as to whether or not they'd like the team name changed?
There really is nothing offensive in the U of U's depiction (there once was, but years ago they got rid of their comical Indian mascot and replaced it with a hawk), or representation of the Ute tribe.
I'm all for changing those that persist in offensive depictions, but perhaps it should be decided on a case by case basis instead of mass threats.

Shane

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RickyB
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Redskins sucks as a name (and a team [Razz] ), but tribe names are ok, I think. I agree that case by case basis is better.
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Haggis
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Why does nobody give a damn about the "Vikings", or "Yankees" (which is originally a slur on the Dutch), or "Celtics", or "Padres", or "Canadiens", or "Canucks" or "Quakers" or "Fightin' Irish"?
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OpsanusTau
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Why doesn't anyone give a damn about the Beavers? That's what *I* want to know!
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canadian
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I care about the Beavers...

Haggis:

It would be akin to having team names like, 'The Blackskins' and depicting a Negro for the logo.

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Haggis
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canadian: I am by no means saying that "Redskins" is a good name. I do think that if the NCAA is going to make a point of banning any team using a Native American mascot or team name based on race, they should apply it across the board.

The NCAA's policy isn't even consistent with itself, as the San Diego State "Aztec" does not fall under the ban. The last time I checked, the Aztecs were Native Americans.

Furthermore, if the NCAA wanted to ban all Native American names, schools with the following words in their names would have to change the name of their school, as all of these are Native American names:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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Skycountry
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((Why does nobody give a damn about the "Vikings", or "Yankees" (which is originally a slur on the Dutch), or "Celtics", or "Padres", or "Canadiens", or "Canucks" or "Quakers" or "Fightin' Irish"?))

Because those weren't used as a slur aimed at a racial minority. Those terms are merely descriptive, minus the invective.

I have no problem with Seminoles or Utes, but "Redskins" is a racial slur. It's like calling a team the New York Jews or San Francisco Chinamen. It's a racial stereotype that has little honor or respect to the group it supposedly represents.

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Shane Roe
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I agree completely that Redskins should go--as should goofy comic depictions such as those used by the Cleveland Indians.
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Haggis
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The deal is that the NCAA isn't against just the offensive names, they are also against the Utes and Seminoles. If they don't change, they don't play post-season. "Ute" is not a racial slur, just like "Viking" is not a racial slur.

And somebody explain to me why "Aztec" doesn't count.

[ August 09, 2005, 09:12 PM: Message edited by: Haggis ]

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Quaestor
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The Redskins should go due to their goofy comic depictions of what some people call "football."

And trust me Skycountry, the term "yankee" can be said with as much "invective" as most other slurs.

This argument has been around for awhile and mostly only the uber-PC crowd cares. Go back to trying to change the names of our schools; you'll have a better chance than a sports team or its mascot.

[ August 09, 2005, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: Quaestor ]

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canadian
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Indians like me care, too.
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OpsanusTau
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The entire state of Montana cares, too.
(I think Minnesota and Maine have done/are doing something similar)

Sometimes, it's just time to stop being offensive when we can.

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Haggis
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quote:
Sometimes, it's just time to stop being offensive when we can.
I'm offended by that. Please stop. [Wink]
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ender wiggin
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Imagine if there was a team called "The Kikes." The mascot is a jewish characature right out of a nazi paper. Oppposing teams yell out "you dirty jews you killed Christ!" when the Kikes score. Would you consider this offensive? Would a Jewish person consider this offensive? How is this different from "the Redskins"?

Names like "Vikings" are not offensive because Vikings are not a persecuted minority on this continent. "Yankees" are also not a persecuted minority. Native Americans face significant discrimination and reservations often have third world health statistics. I'm not even getting in to the historical context.

Names of Tribes that have become state names are a complelty different issue, brought in only to muddy the waters. Obviously Kentucky is referring to the state of Kentucky. This is a completly irrelavent arguement.

Edit: If the Utes don't have a problem with thier name being used, than I don't see why there is an issue in that case. To disallow that name would then be another case of white america deciding what is best for "indians" without consulting them.

[ August 10, 2005, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: ender wiggin ]

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Quaestor
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Ummmmm, Mr. Wiggin? There's no one yelling out "you dirty redskins you killed Custer!!" at football games. And the nazi caricature of the jew was meant to be derogatory. There is nothing offensive in the emblem of the Redskins. In fact, it's a pretty accurate physical likeness of a Native American. You've drawn a false analogy.

As to their third world health statistics - we gave them self rule, much like what we will do for the Native Hawiians soon. Maybe they should invest the money from the casinos better. The reservations do have problems, but the source is inward and not outward as you accuse.

And did you really say "white america"?? wow...it must be pure bliss where you live huh? [Roll Eyes]

[ August 10, 2005, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: Quaestor ]

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OpsanusTau
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Quaestor?

You disgust me.

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Funean
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quote:
The reservations do have problems, but the source is inward and not outward as you accuse.
Can you support this statement, and its implication that historical inequities, decimation of culture, and racism have had no role to play in the current situation?

As for the actual topic thread, I've never liked the use of tribal names or the completely indefensible "Redskins" as team names or mascots. It is, at best, a complete trivialization of the national and cultural identity of large numbers of persons whose history with the US warrants more respectful treatment. Particularly when, as in the case of the Seminoles, they aren't really with us any longer to protest or not, directly as a result of the arrival of Europeans on these shores.

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Haggis
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quote:
If the Utes don't have a problem with thier name being used, than I don't see why there is an issue in that case. To disallow that name would then be another case of white america deciding what is best for "indians" without consulting them.
ender, you hit the nail on the head. Yes, some of the names are offensive (and I have no problem with getting rid of those), but there are cases where the Native Americans themselves are for keeping some of them.
UNC Pembroke Braves
quote:
The university, whose campus is in the center of the region the Lumbee tribe calls home, was founded exclusively for Native Americans in 1887 and didn't integrate until 1953. About 20 percent of current students are Native American.

School administrators, including members of the Lumbee tribe, have formed a committee to protect the Braves nickname and logo. They have until May 1 to file a response with the NCAA as to why the school should be removed from the list of those with insensitive names.

"The thing about it athletically was, when it was all American Indians, the leaders at the school and the student body referred to themselves as Braves," Athletic Director Dan Kenney said. "Nothing has changed. Our community wants that link back to our origins."

William and Mary Tribe
quote:
It would seem unlikely that W&M will choose -- or be requested by Virginia's American Indians -- to change its sports nickname, identified by the NCAA this year as one that could be offensive....

"It's a tribe. We root for those," said Gertrude Minnie-Ha-Ha Custalow, historian for the Mattaponi Tribe, which lives on a reservation in King William. "I've never heard of any other tribes who think it's improper.

FSU Seminoles
quote:
Leaders of the Seminole Tribe reaffirmed their support for the "Seminoles" mascot of Florida State University.

Tribal and FSU officials said they have had a long relationship. But they want to do more, such as create educational, health and other opportunities for tribal members.

CMU Chippewa
quote:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has asked 31 schools to justify their use of Indian-related mascots, logos and nicknames but officials at Central Michigan University say they have support for their "Chippewa" nickname.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe passed a resolution in 1988 in support of the nickname. The following year, the school dropped its use of Indian mascots or depictions.

The NCAA policy, while well intentioned, is also flawed. While many of the team names are offensive, it includes those that actually have support from their respective tribal communities, as well as overlooking team mascots such as the Aztecs, whose mascot appears in a full ceremonial headdress while carrying a spear. Why is "Chippewas" deemed offensive (while the tribe supports the mascot) while "Aztecs" is not?
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OpsanusTau
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I don't know that it's SO flawed.
It looks like the NCAA has asked schools to justify their use of such names, and given them a chance to do so.

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Quaestor
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Check this out - quite interesting and cool if you're a football trivia fan: http://www.profootballhof.com/history/nicknames.jsp Seems like a lot of the names are selected from contests or polls...

I concur with some of what EW and Haggis has stated - if a group doesn't see a problem with name being used, then that's fine. And thank you Haggis for providing all that info - good stuff and point. I would answer your question off the top of my head just by stating that there really aren't tribes of Aztecs, Incas, or Mayans around anymore. There are still some indigenous groups in Central America that practice some forms of it, but it's not too prevalent here. Now if we want to discuss the rights of indigenous people, then we should start a whole other thread.

Funean - I don't mean to gloss over the past. But what I won't gloss over is this whole "let's blame whitey, america, and everyone/everything else" mentaliy. Because Indians have self-rule there is always a struggle about the boundaries of assitance (here's a list if you'd like http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/188095.pdf
http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-922/public.htm
http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/CCR4/
some Fed government action: http://www.doi.gov/accomplishments/bia_report.pdf

And now to get back to the orginial thread and tie in what people others have stated about a team's name and public opinion: 90% of Native Americans do NOT mind the name "Redskins" http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6093796/

Opsanus said
quote:
Quaestor?

You disgust me.

Have some Pepto; I mean to misbehave for awhile. [Wink]
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canadian
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If you want, questor, we could have some private emails while I explain to you the socio-economic impact of European settlers on Native American peoples. I can give you enormous amounts of reading and I can probably even convince some members of the Native Communities in Alberta to explain to you the realities of reservation life.

Come to that, if I really wanted to, I could contact tribal leaders in many resrvations across North America to explain to you why there are Casinos at all, and relate to you the tales of decimation and slaughter that occurred, making once proud nations a conquered people with no real place in modern society.

They could also tell you about broken treaties, discrimination and the penalties a Native American faces when they choose to leave the Reservation.

I could do all these things, but honestly, i'm not sure if it would make a difference. Maybe it would, but it is extremely hard to break through someone else's programming if they simply don't want to hear it.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
They could also tell you about broken treaties, discrimination and the penalties a Native American faces when they choose to leave the Reservation.
As part of a treaty made long ago, a tribe around here (the Mattaponi) present a tribute of fish or game to the Governor of Virginia every year.

The relevant text:
quote:
XVI. That every Indian King and Queen in the month of March every yeare with some of theire great men tender their obedience to the R't Honourable his Majesties Govern'r at the place of his residence, wherever it shall be, and then and there pay the accustomed rent of twentie beaver skinns, to the Govern'r and alsoe their quit rent aforesaid, in acknowledgment that they hold their Crownes, and Lands of the great King of England.
Speaking of treaties.
I just think that it is a lovely demonstration of honor and uprightness.

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Funean
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Kinda underscores the treaties that *aren't* kept, eh?

*cough*

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Haggis
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quote:
I don't know that it's SO flawed.
It looks like the NCAA has asked schools to justify their use of such names, and given them a chance to do so.

From the NCAA:
quote:
The presidents and chancellors who serve on the NCAA Executive Committee have adopted a new policy to prohibit NCAA colleges and universities from displaying hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery at any of the 88 NCAA championships.

The Executive Committee, meeting Thursday in Indianapolis, also approved recommended best practices for schools who continue to use Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery in their intercollegiate athletic programs....

The committee also strongly suggested that institutions follow the best practices of institutions that do not support the use of Native American mascots or imagery. Model institutions include the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin, who have practices of not scheduling athletic competitions with schools who use Native American nicknames, imagery or mascots.

Eighteen colleges and universities continue to use Native American imagery or references and are subject to the new policy:

Alcorn State University (Braves)
Central Michigan University (Chippewas)
Catawba College (Indians)
Florida State University (Seminoles)
Midwestern State University (Indians)
University of Utah (Utes)
Indiana University-Pennsylvania (Indians)
Carthage College (Redmen)
Bradley University (Braves)
Arkansas State University (Indians)
Chowan College (Braves)
University of Illinois-Champaign (Illini)
University of Louisiana-Monroe (Indians)
McMurry University (Indians)
Mississippi College (Choctaws)
Newberry College (Indians)
University of North Dakota (Fighting Sioux)
Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Savages)

Fourteen schools have removed all references to Native American culture or were deemed not to have references to Native American culture as part of their athletics programs.

The College of William and Mary has been given an extension to complete its self-study on the mascot issue.

Those 14 are:

• California State-Stanislaus University Warriors
• Lycoming College Warriors
• Winona State (Minn.) Warriors
• Hawaii-Manoa University Warriors
• Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors
• East Stroudsburg University Warriors
• Husson (Maine) College Braves
• Merrimack (Mass.) Warriors
• Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks
• State University of West Georgia Braves
• Stonehill (Mass.) College Chieftains
• San Diego State University Aztecs
• Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors
• University of North Carolina-Pembroke Braves

Why would Alcorn State, Bradley University and Chowan College not get to use "Braves", but Husson College, SUWG and UNC Pembroke do?

Some schools that have mascots based on national origin, such as the University of San Francisco's "Dons" with a mascot pretty much dressed like Zorro were not even looked at.

If "model" institutions such as U of Iowa and U of Wisconsin are lauded for "having practices of not scheduling athletic competitions with schools who use Native American nicknames, imagery or mascots", why are both of them playing the Illini in football?

And why do the only abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots have to do with Native Americans? Fightin' Irish? That's not perpetuating a stereotype at all.

I think that if the NCAA wants to have a strong policy against racism, it should be applied across the board. As it stands now, the use of mascots based on race/ethnicity/national origin is ok for some schools, but not for others. Good intent, bad policy.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
I think that if the NCAA wants to have a strong policy against racism, it should be applied across the board
I can certainly agree with that.
However, I just can't see that a good start should be lambasted because it isn't complete.

The NCAA is in no way my area of expertise; I have no idea why three schools get to keep using "Braves" (though didn't you cite one of them earlier as being a Native college?).

And as to the Irish and the Spanish and whatnot - I think that there is a lower threshold for offense in the case of subjugated minorities. European minorities are currently less subjugated than non-European minorities. (are Irish folks offended by the fightin' Irish? by the way...)

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Haggis
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quote:
However, I just can't see that a good start should be lambasted because it isn't complete.
I guess I don't agree with the idea that some mascots based upon race/ethnicity/national origin are by definition "offensive" and others are not. I also don't agree that the offensiveness of a mascot should have anything to do with the whether or not a school has ties to a specified community, aka, UNC-Pembroke. Imagine if the Morehouse college teams were the "Fighting Negroes". Would that name be ok because Morehouse is an African-American college? If not, then why would UNC Pembroke's "Braves" be ok? I think the policy should be lambasted because it seems a) not well thought out; b) has incredibly vague and subjective guidelines c) poorly implemented; and d) appears arbitrary. Maybe it's just me.
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IrishTD
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Haggis --

Those problems apply to a large majority of the NCAA's policies.

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canadian
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Baby steps.

[Wink]

But honestly, as a Native American, it is offensive. And I'm pretty easy going.

'Nuff said.

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Haggis
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quote:
Those problems apply to a large majority of the NCAA's policies.
Preaching to the choir, TD. [Smile]
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Haggis
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quote:
Baby steps.
The problem with the NCAA and their "baby steps" is that a lot of the time, the baby steps are so poorly thought out and implemented, they never reach the toddler step phase, much less the proverbial journey of a thousand miles that begins with one step. In fact, many of the NCAA's baby steps manage to step on only their own d!cks.
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canadian
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Sounds intriguing...
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Shane Roe
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quote:
Originally posted by canadian:
Baby steps.

[Wink]

But honestly, as a Native American, it is offensive. And I'm pretty easy going.

'Nuff said.

Canadian, do you mean the use of Native American names offends you? I'm just wondering if you'd concur that if only a few (of those tribes actually represented) are offended, the majority should rule.

Shane

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Skycountry
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((The Redskins should go due to their goofy comic depictions of what some people call "football."))

LOL

((And trust me Skycountry, the term "yankee" can be said with as much "invective" as most other slurs.))

The big diff is that Yankee's were never a persecuted minority. Face it calling a white guy a "cracker" will never have the invective of calling a black guy a n____.

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canadian
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quote:
Originally posted by Shane Roe:
quote:
Originally posted by canadian:
Baby steps.

[Wink]

But honestly, as a Native American, it is offensive. And I'm pretty easy going.

'Nuff said.

Canadian, do you mean the use of Native American names offends you? I'm just wondering if you'd concur that if only a few (of those tribes actually represented) are offended, the majority should rule.

Shane

Sure. But I doubt you'll get much support for the Cleveland Indians from very many Native Americans...

...or Americans for that matter.

[Wink]

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Shane Roe
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quote:
Sure. But I doubt you'll get much support for the Cleveland Indians from very many Native Americans...

...or Americans for that matter.

[Wink] [/QB]

I agree.
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Archer
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I hope at the NCAA basketball tournament that all the schools who can no longer use "Braves" on their jerseys instead make jerseys saying "Cowards". Highlights the stupidity of the decision.
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philnotfil
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FSU is an interesting case because the Florida Seminoles are supportive of it, they even help make the costume, but the Oklahoma Seminoles want it changed.
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The Drake
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Next thing you know, people will want the Celtics to give up their insensitive Irish Leprechaun.
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RickyB
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Seeing as FSU is in Florida, and by definition represents the Florida Seminoles, I'd say they should be allowed to keep the name.

Drake - I'm guessing you know the problem with that argument [Smile]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Seeing as FSU is in Florida, and by definition represents the Florida Seminoles, I'd say they should be allowed to keep the name.

Drake - I'm guessing you know the problem with that argument [Smile]

That would make sense wouldn't it?

The NCAA doesn't very often do that. I was in the band for many years at UF and got to go to many events. When we would go to bigtime NCAA events (Final Fours for volleyball or basketball) we weren't allowed to bring in drink containers that had a logo other than the NCAA logo, or the approved drink providers. That doesn't seem so bad does it? Did you notice that the logos of the schools involved aren't on that list? I could wear the schools logo, it could be on my instrument, it could even be painted on the court, but there was no way they were going to let me go out in front of people with it on my cup.


I get a kick out of reminding people that if FSU just had something in their name to let us all know that they weren't from Oklahoma than we wouldn't have this problem.

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