1 Va. Sports & Ent. L.J. 274 (2001-2002)
American Indian Nicknames and Mascots for Team Sports: Law, Policy, and Attitude

handle is hein.journals/virspelj1 and id is 280 raw text is: American Indian Nicknames and Mascots
for Team Sports:
Law, Policy, and Attitude
Roger Clegg*
The local papers around Washington, D.C., have been filled with
controversy recently over the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs'
announcement that it has targeted thirteen school districts in an effort to remove
Indian names from sports teams. There are twenty-seven separate schools that
continue to use names considered offensive, according to the board, with
fourteen using the term Indians, eleven using Warriors, and two using
Braves.1
Not Drunken Injuns, Naked Savages, or Wagon Burners, or even
Redskins. So it is not clear exactly why these names are found to be offensive.
And the price of political correctness is not insubstantial to some of the schools;
one estimates that it will cost $80,000 to replace the name on school uniforms,
letterhead, and the gymnasium floor.2
Nonetheless, there is no denying that there has been a great push of late to
challenge the use of Indian names and mascots by sports teams. As an otherwise
negligible op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Education correctly noted,
Recently, the struggles over such mascots have intensified, as fans and foes
* Vice president and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a research and educational
organization based in Sterling, Virginia that focuses on civil rights, bilingual education, and
immigration issues; J.D., Yale Law School, 1981; B.A., Rice University, 1977 The author thanks
Michael DeBow, Robert Detlefsen, John Harrison, and John Miller for their thoughts.
See, e.g., Nurith C. Aizenman, Md. League Upset by Effort To Ban Indian Team Names, Wash. Post,
Aug. 12, 2001, at D4; Margie Hyslop, Indian Namesakes Go Far Beyond Little League, Wash. Times,
Aug. 27, 2001, at At; see also Matthew Celia, Panel Exceeded Authority with Little League Boycott,
Wash. Times, Aug. 16, 2001, at A1; Margie Hyslop, Indian Panel's Boycott Call Rebuked, Wash.
Times, Aug. 18, 2001, at A l; Matthew Celia, Indians Evicted from Poolesville High, Wash. Times,
Aug. 29, 2001, at Al.
2 Matthew Celia, Cecil Decision Likely Fatal to Indian-Name Effort, Activist Says, Wash. Times, Nov.
28, 2001, at B1.

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