Is Your School Mascot Politically Correct?

-------------------------------------

Team mascots for the University of Florida Gators are a pair of fun-loving orange alligators who go by the name of Albert and Alberta. Some schools continue to use caricatures of Native Americans while others have dismissed this practice but have retained nicknames that some find offensive.

Team mascots for the University of Florida Gators are a pair of fun-loving orange alligators who go by the name of Albert and Alberta. Some schools continue to use caricatures of Native Americans while others have dismissed this practice but have retained nicknames that some find offensive.

Over the past twenty years, it seems that so many sports teams have come under fire for their chosen nicknames. Cleveland Indians. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Washington Redskins. These are among the many professional and college teams who have names that are, well, politically incorrect. Not every team or school chooses to rectify what some see as an insult to a particular people group, rather they have decided to clarify its usage usually through modifying its meaning or at least obtaining permission to use a controversial name.

Controversial College Nicknames, Mascots and Logos

Let’s take a look at some of the controversy surrounding college nicknames including logos and mascots used to convey a certain image:

Toss The Crusaders – A Massachusetts Christian college has decided that using a Crusader as a mascot can send out a wrong message, especially when they’re trying to convey God’s love and mercy to the student body. East Nazarene College in Quincy realized that so-called “crusaders” who operated under the guise of the Catholic Church to restore order centuries ago, choose to pillage, rape and destroy as they made their way across Europe. Now, the colleges nickname is Lions to reflect the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ.

Losing The Fighting Sioux –  The University of North Dakota has long gone by “Fighting Sioux” which includes the nickname as well as the college mascot. Recently, the school decided to retire both in deference to local tribes who have long objected to its usage. However, the school, which hasn’t selected a replacement name/mascot yet, will continue with the nickname if representatives from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe agree to allow the school to continue to use the name. That isn’t likely to happen as both tribes have been battling the school for three decades to make the switch which comes as the school is trying to reform its image to please members of the Summit League who oppose the school’s unauthorized use of the nickname.

Keeping the ‘Noles – Some colleges have learned that working with American tribes can go a long way toward building understanding, even allowing the school to continue using the name. Florida State University has proudly used the Seminole nickname, mascot and logo, but back in 1978 they realized that obtaining the official sanction of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma would go a long way in promoting respect. Today, the Seminole tribes have continued to support Florida State University with the women of the tribe making the regalia worn by Chief Osceola, a mascot based on the victorious Seminole leader.

From Blackhawks To Black Hawks – Sometimes the change in nicknames is subtle, but still effective. For Southeastern Community College in Iowa, they tackled the controversy surrounding the Blackhawks name which represented a local tribe to switch it to Black Hawks, representing a bird of prey.

No Irish Problem – The University of Notre Dame is the most well known Roman Catholic university in the nation. Its sports teams are known as the “Fighting Irish” in deference to an Irish Brigade who fought on the side of the union during the Civil War. This is one of the few examples of a school that uses an ethnic or racial name that isn’t considered to be controversial.

Historical Names, Outdated Usage

Of course, many of the names chosen by schools date way back to the early years when these schools first fielded sports teams. During the 1800s, few people gave much thought to naming their teams after the local Native American tribe, but then no one ever consulted tribes people to see if they approved of these practices. In time, many schools have dropped offensive mascots and team names choosing to embrace contemporary names that are acceptable by most, if not all.

Photos and information related to team mascots, nicknames and logos obtained from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

Adv. — Go, Team! No matter what school you attend or plan on attending, school spirit is an important motivator as you seek to get better grades and to connect with your classmates. For some students, attending the college of their choice is beyond their family’s financial ability to cover costs which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars for each academic year. Savvy students know that applying for college scholarships is one form of student aid that doesn’t have to be paid back. Have you applied yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

end of post idea

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please share this article within your social networks.

Categories: Commentary