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Cleveland MLB team reportedly considering name change

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#41 adjacent

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 11:16 AM

Let be honest here. For most teams the decision to change a name is a marketing decision. I am skeptical that the owner of the redskins woke up one morning and said: "Gee, our name is racist, we should change it" after resisting name changes for decades. Second, if you want to honor Native americans, what if you call the leaders of the Native American nation closest to you and say: We want to choose a name, to honor you, what name you consider appropriate? As far as I know, that has not been done. And for any name, the first thing you do is talk with the people involved. 

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#42 SQUIRREL

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:06 PM

 

Let be honest here. For most teams the decision to change a name is a marketing decision. I am skeptical that the owner of the redskins woke up one morning and said: "Gee, our name is racist, we should change it" after resisting name changes for decades. Second, if you want to honor Native americans, what if you call the leaders of the Native American nation closest to you and say: We want to choose a name, to honor you, what name you consider appropriate? As far as I know, that has not been done. And for any name, the first thing you do is talk with the people involved. 

 

You know ... that's just a thoughtful and sensible approach.

 

And yeah, it will be a marketing decision, probably, but maybe there will be some thought of 'right vs wrong' in there somewhere, too. Because I think right now, more people (finally?) care about it, so there is some pressure to do so.

 

But I wonder how thorough the marketing decision was for the Fort Myers Miracle to change the name of the team to the Mighty Mussels ... particularly with some of the logo design. (Okay ... another discussion we don't need to get into, but, it does illustrate a point I made above ... teams do change their names for various reasons.)

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#43 Nine of twelve

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:18 PM

 

Let us be 100% honest here. Until a few years ago, as sports fans, none of us really considered the Washington Redskins as being offensive.

I did a very small amount of online research to try to establish a timeline on name and mascot changes.

 

1969 - Students at Dartmouth College began promoting a team name change from "Indians". The change was made official in 1974.

1970 - University of Oklahoma retires "Little Red" mascot.

1971 - Marquette University abandons "Willie Wampum" mascot. The team name was changed from "Warriors" to "Golden Eagles" in 1994.

1972 - Stanford University drops "Indians" nickname and logo.

1972 - Dickinson (N.D.) State changed its nickname from "Savages" to "Blue Hawks".

 

These are only the very earliest examples I found, and nickname/mascot changes became much more widespread not long afterward. Here in Minnesota, the State Board of Education passed a resolution in 1988 encouraging all school districts to remove Indian-related mascots.

 

With all due respect, I find it impossible to believe that anyone who pays even casual attention to sports did not know that such nicknames were considered offensive "until a few years ago". 

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#44 notoriousgod71

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 02:57 PM

A woman I used to work with grew up in Pekin, IL where they were known as the Chinks.

 

True story.


#45 SQUIRREL

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 03:18 PM

 

A woman I used to work with grew up in Pekin, IL where they were known as the Chinks.

 

True story.

 

And their name was changed in 1981 ... they are now the Pekin Dragons.

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#46 h2oface

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 06:50 PM

I have always had big problems with The Redskins. I think the logo trademark mascot was offensive that the Indians used for a long time. But Indians? I grew up in the Black Hills, and remember Russell Means and AIM naming themselves the American Indian Movement. I don't see it as a slur, or the Braves, or the Warriors of Sioux Falls Washington High School I went to. I don't like the tomahawk chop and call the fans do (a false stereotype). I don't mind Florida State being the Seminoles, or using particular tribal names, as it seems like in honor of them. I think there should be care to represent the logo pic, and not ever have it be a caricature that is offensive. I have attended many tribal celebrations, and they always include traditional extravagant dress and dances. So I don't get the uproar about Indians. But I'm listening. Maybe I am part of the problem. I don't mind it changing either. I just don't see how it is grouped with the Redskins, at all. 

 

Are Trojan ancestors upset? Do pirates care about Pirates and Buccaneers? And the Cavalier the University of Virginia uses is pretty weird as a mascot, and what is a cavalier, anyway. Can one only name a team an animal or fish or bird or insect (etc) now? 

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#47 h2oface

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 07:04 PM

 

The Cleveland Native Americans... :) sarc/

 I see the sarc, and this is just a note.....most of the "native americans" I know don't really consider that a proper reference, but one made up by others again, and they prefer the tribal names.

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#48 PseudoSABR

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 07:23 PM

 

But I'm listening. Maybe I am part of the problem. I don't mind it changing either. I just don't see how it is grouped with the Redskins, at all. 

 

Are Trojan ancestors upset? Do pirates care about Pirates and Buccaneers? And the Cavalier the University of Virginia uses is pretty weird as a mascot, and what is a cavalier, anyway. Can one only name a team an animal or fish or bird or insect (etc) now? 

Thanks for acknowledging the possibility that you may be part of the problem and willing to listen.

 

The problem is this: naming a mascot after a now-living ethnic group--we don't do this to any group except First Nations people. Troy is long gone. So are the Vikings.The Pirates are not an ethnic group.Cavalier is type of mounted soldier, again not an ethnic group.The tribes that many many of these names derive from still exist, and their people are largely marginalized and are non-represented in major sports and universities.Their names, even in a positive light, shouldn't be white American's play things. 

Edited by PseudoSABR, 05 July 2020 - 07:25 PM.

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#49 biggentleben

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 08:48 PM

I've said this in a few different places, and I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself on this for anyone.

 

My wife and I adopted four children that each has some level of Sioux blood in their veins. As part of that, and because I've always had a fondness for the Sioux culture, my wife and I reached out to connections through foster care and previous employment to discuss ways to assist our children in understanding and knowing their culture. Already, they've each faced comments in school (my children are ages 5-8) that I never knew existed, which absolutely breaks my heart.

 

One particular tribal chief knew of my baseball writing and got onto the topic of sports teams with me once. I asked him about changing names, including the names of teams like the Braves and Chiefs, which aren't considered inherently "racist" by "woke" non-Native people. While I'm quoting this, it's generally paraphrased, but his response was this:

 

"The Sioux and all other tribes in these lands have seen treaties broken, their women raped, their children brutally murdered, sacred lands stolen and desecrated, and all of this brushed off as 'manifest destiny.' Then, when naming a sports franchise came along, in order to sell ball caps and t-shirts, they put a picture of the most grotesque version of an Indian that they can think of and use some nomenclature they use to describe our people in order to sell all those things."

 

"Changing those names is like an ice cube off the side of the peak of the Titanic of the glacial iceberg of things that have been done wrong to my people. There are much more important things for me to fight for, but if someone else puts in the time and the effort to get that ice cube chipped away, I will support it."

 

I have been a fan of changing the Braves' name ever since that conversation...and I've been a Braves fan my entire life. Let's just say that I'm not popular among Braves fans for that take.

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#50 Channing1964

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 11:11 PM

i dont really care what they change their name to. Im just glad we dont have to change ours.

#51 Dantes929

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 11:57 PM

In an odd twist St. Mary's of Winona used to be called the Redmen. The name originally had nothing at all to do with native americans but eventually the image and mascot appeared. When a native american group asked them to change over 30 years ago they did. In a similar way I have always wondered how a town name like Savage can continue to exist. Turns out it was named after some guy named Savage.If any team should be allowed to have the Indian name it would be Shakopee since presumably the tribe wouldhave influence over the images and narrative but even they changed names. In my book its ok for anyone to not be offended but biggentleben's 4th paragraph above kind of explains it all on why it would be offensive to many and should therefore be removed.Not being offensive to me personally (or to any other one person) should not be the standard for keeping a name.

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#52 h2oface

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 01:30 AM

 

Thanks for acknowledging the possibility that you may be part of the problem and willing to listen.

 

The problem is this: naming a mascot after a now-living ethnic group--we don't do this to any group except First Nations people. Troy is long gone. So are the Vikings.The Pirates are not an ethnic group.Cavalier is type of mounted soldier, again not an ethnic group.The tribes that many many of these names derive from still exist, and their people are largely marginalized and are non-represented in major sports and universities.Their names, even in a positive light, shouldn't be white American's play things. 

 

I wonder if the Celtics are getting pressured.

 

"Today, the term Celtic generally refers to the languages and respective cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, also known as the Celtic nations. These are the regions where four Celtic languages are still spoken to some extent as mother tongues."


#53 Dantes929

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 07:53 AM

 

Thanks for acknowledging the possibility that you may be part of the problem and willing to listen.

 

The problem is this: naming a mascot after a now-living ethnic group--we don't do this to any group except First Nations people. Troy is long gone. So are the Vikings.The Pirates are not an ethnic group.Cavalier is type of mounted soldier, again not an ethnic group.The tribes that many many of these names derive from still exist, and their people are largely marginalized and are non-represented in major sports and universities.Their names, even in a positive light, shouldn't be white American's play things. 

Fighting Irish? Difference maybe giving the name to themselves when they had a team and school full of Irish Catholics. Just looking at a list of team names. Marlins, Brewers, Twins, Rangers, AstrosRockies and Mariners all have pretty good names that relate to their area and appear to have had some thought put into them.  

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#54 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:05 AM

 

I wonder if the Celtics are getting pressured.

 

"Today, the term Celtic generally refers to the languages and respective cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, also known as the Celtic nations. These are the regions where four Celtic languages are still spoken to some extent as mother tongues."

 

Well just like The University of Notre Dame, the team was founded by and created for people of Irish descent. Unlike the Native American team names, those truly were created to represent the make-up of their markets. The Irish are to Boston what Norwegians are to Minnesota.

 


#55 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:35 AM

 

I've said this in a few different places, and I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself on this for anyone.

 

My wife and I adopted four children that each has some level of Sioux blood in their veins. As part of that, and because I've always had a fondness for the Sioux culture, my wife and I reached out to connections through foster care and previous employment to discuss ways to assist our children in understanding and knowing their culture. Already, they've each faced comments in school (my children are ages 5-8) that I never knew existed, which absolutely breaks my heart.

 

One particular tribal chief knew of my baseball writing and got onto the topic of sports teams with me once. I asked him about changing names, including the names of teams like the Braves and Chiefs, which aren't considered inherently "racist" by "woke" non-Native people. While I'm quoting this, it's generally paraphrased, but his response was this:

 

"The Sioux and all other tribes in these lands have seen treaties broken, their women raped, their children brutally murdered, sacred lands stolen and desecrated, and all of this brushed off as 'manifest destiny.' Then, when naming a sports franchise came along, in order to sell ball caps and t-shirts, they put a picture of the most grotesque version of an Indian that they can think of and use some nomenclature they use to describe our people in order to sell all those things."

 

"Changing those names is like an ice cube off the side of the peak of the Titanic of the glacial iceberg of things that have been done wrong to my people. There are much more important things for me to fight for, but if someone else puts in the time and the effort to get that ice cube chipped away, I will support it."

 

I have been a fan of changing the Braves' name ever since that conversation...and I've been a Braves fan my entire life. Let's just say that I'm not popular among Braves fans for that take.

I taught for a year out on the Three Affiliated Tribes (Fort Berthold) Reservation.When I started there I exclusively used the term Native American and they laughed at me.They preferred the term Indians.

 

It was a bit odd to me, but they would wear Braves, Chiefs, etc. headgear.I don't recall seeing any Chief Wahoo though.

 

I do recall them not being a fan of the Washington Redskins name or gear, and they were pretty vocal about that one.

 

Most of the students and adults seemed to defer to the Sioux tribes opinions about UND's name though, as most of them didn't identify as Sioux.I assume that the same would hold true for other specific tribal names such as the Seminoles and Aztecs.

 

My Take: Chief Wahoo was definitely bad, and Washington should definitely change their name.The specific tribal names should be left to the tribes.  

 

IDK about the generic names like Braves, Chiefs, and Indians though.IDK the percentages across the board, but I can anecdotally say that the students I had seemed to view those more as homages then insults.There might be better information I'm missing and I'm welcome to hear it.

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#56 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:39 AM

 

A woman I used to work with grew up in Pekin, IL where they were known as the Chinks.

 

True story.

Is that one as black and white as it appears?It's so blatant.Or is there a reference to something I'm missing?

 

That's really bad.


#57 SQUIRREL

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:49 AM

 

Is that one as black and white as it appears?It's so blatant.Or is there a reference to something I'm missing?

 

That's really bad.

 

I googled it and found this: https://ccamuseum.or...-pekin-dragons/

 

That was the first of a long list of in the search results. The name was changed in 1981. And yes, it was as bad and blatant as it sounds. I think at the time they came up with it, no one thought it was bad, that it was somehow an homage, as these things usually go. But yes, it was a racial slur toward Chinese people, not, say, as in a chink in your armour. It was bad.

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#58 Doctor Gast

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:40 AM

 

The quote is funny and appreciated. But it's also why I made the post I did. I'm asking questions for honest dialogue.

I agree w/ Doc, I have a lot of Native American friends that aren`t offended by the Indian names of sports teams. But that`s not to say that it isn`t to others, that said I think that a real survey should be taken by real Native Americans (not by white university professors) & the results should be taken seriously & every disputed team should change their names if which would be deemed offensive. I have Viking ancestory & I`m not offended by our football team even though the vikings were very barbaric & did horrific things

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#59 Doctor Gast

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:30 AM

Though I`m a very diehard Twin fan, I`d like to see our baseball team change their name. Twins name came from Cal Griffin & "Twinkies"to me is offensive. I`d prefer the name "Lumberjacks" or "Bombers" 

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#60 ashbury

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:49 AM

Though I`m a very diehard Twin fan, I`d like to see our baseball team change their name. Twins name came from Cal Griffin & "Twinkies"to me is offensive. I`d prefer the name "Lumberjacks" or "Bombers" 

See, it's this kind of strawman argument, even meant humorously, that sets people's teeth on edge. It amounts to trivializing actual offense.
 

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