The “Redskins” Controversy May Not Now Seem to Be a Life and Death Issue, but, from a Cultural and Historical Perspective, It Is Fundamentally Just That Sort of Issue

ACADEME BLOG

Even if the name “Redskins” is offensive, one can at least argue that the image featured in the team logo is rather dignified.

Redskins Logo

The same cannot be said for the Cleveland Indians mascot’s appearance or name– Chief Wahoo:

Chief Wahoo

Interestingly, Chief Wahoo’s skin color less resembles that of a Native American than that of a very pale White guy who drank a little too much beer and nodded off in the bleachers on a sunny afternoon.

Not surprisingly, the organization at the forefront of the effort to change team names that perpetuate stereotypes has produced a logo that looks more like the Washington Redskins’ logo than the Cleveland Indians’ logo:

Anti-Stereotype Badge

In response to the growing contention over this issue, the Atlanta Braves have significantly modified their logo while maintaining the team name:

Old Braves Logo

has become

New Braves Logo

St. John’s University’s athletic teams used to be known as the Redmen. For six decades, their logo…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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