Even though North Dakota residents dumped their university’s nickname “Fighting Sioux”, this will have no effect on the Washington Redskins.
Sioux County, where much of the reservation is based, voted 184-159 to retire the University of North Dakota’s nickname and Indian head logo, according to AP reports.
In May I told you about how the Oregon Board Oregon State Board of Education voted 5-1 to adopt a rule prohibiting Oregon public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots.
The latest move shows how the country is progressing towards intolerance towards using names, nicknames, or likenesses of any race or culture in sports teams. However, these decisions are still too far on a local level to receive enough national attention for change in the majors. Lawsuits have been filed, but in a world (maybe I should say nation) where sports is a billion-dollar business, I don’t think much will be done.
This will take Supreme Court measures, which could result in hearings, hundreds of people testifying to the notion of how these sports names affect their communities, and valid proof it’s doing more damage than good. On a business level, companies would have to start from square one in brand marketing and promotions just to reinvent themselves. Hundreds, if not thousands of products from jerseys to seat cushions would be hurled into to landfills (and that’s a lot of stuff). Most feared would be trying to find a name that’s going to appeal to the fans, sans them shaking their heads saying “You’re calling yourself what now?”
This world, the one we live in nowadays where judging is more of a crime than the vulgarity itself, it will also take strength in numbers to make major league teams across the nation, high schools, and even primary schools to make changes. Oregon and North Dakota got it right. Standing Rock Indian Reservation got it right: Take care of your circles, don’t try to save the world. That would take too long, and could be a standing project for the future. Deal locally, change locally, and present yourselves as a model of what could be done with enough people on board with the idea of change. Show the results, present the progress, and move forward quietly w/o making a spectacle of the matter. The world has enough “heroes”. The Sports world markets them, uses them up, and when they need to, eats them alive.
The Washington Redskins will remain the Washington Redskins. This change will not be on the blip of their radar screen any time soon.
Ricky Allen is a blogger with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @UltimateRedskin