1 Va. Sports & Ent. L.J. 258 (2001-2002)
Legal Approaches to the Use of Native American Logos and Symbols in Sports

handle is hein.journals/virspelj1 and id is 264 raw text is: Legal Approaches to the Use of Native
American Logos and Symbols in Sports
Scott R. Rosner*
The controversy surrounding the use of Native American logos, symbols,
and nicknames in interscholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sports is
certainly nothing new. While the other commentators who have contributed
articles to this Symposium edition have divergent views on the topic, this Article
will set forth the various legal approaches toward the use of Native American
logos, nicknames, and symbols in sports in order to provide the reader with an
understanding of the legal background within which these debates occur.
In framing the debate over the use of Native American logos, nicknames,
symbols, and imagery, there exists a tension between two fundamental
principles.'  On the one hand, the academic institution or professional
organization's right to engage in free speech by selecting nicknames and related
logos and symbols that represent their entities is, to many people, a First
Amendment right that may not be abridged.2 On the other hand, there exists the
right of Native Americans to live free from discrimination.3 The balancing of
these two principles is quite difficult.
The basic question which must be asked is: Is it possible to prohibit the use
of Native American team names and symbols without violating the constitutional
* Lecturer, Legal Studies Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Professor Rosner
was an Assistant Professor of Finance & Legal Studies in the Center for Sport Management at Seton
Hall University at the time of the Symposium. The author would like to thank Michael A- McCann,
Kimberly Rosner, Esther Hyppolite, and Cathryn Claussen, as well as his fellow participants at the
Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal's October 2001 Symposium, Braves or Cowards?
Use of Native American Images and Symbols as Sports Nicknames.
I Cathryn L. Claussen, Ethnic Team Names and Logos-Is There a Legal Solution?, 6 Marq. Sports
LJ. 409 (1996).
2 Id.

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