Native American Mascots
Imagine yourself at a sporting event. You are enjoying the last bite of your foot-long hot dog, anticipating the moment the half time show will begin. Out comes the shoe-less, plaid-shirt wearing, ripped and dirty blue jean sporting mascot. His name is “Billy Bob-- the wildest hillbilly in the boondocks.” He goes running around, chugging down his fake moonshine and spitting tobacco. Being a native of Appalachia, you find yourself upset, and state this to be extremely offending. However, your sister who is attending the game with you casually laughs it off, stating that it is just hilarious. The disagreement between siblings from the same background can be compared to the discontent many people face when concerning the use of Native American Mascots. We will be reviewing the varying opinions and beliefs on the matter of using Native American symbols at sporting events. There are many people who believe that it is very disrespectful towards Native Americans. Not only is it demeaning the values that they believe in, but it is also poking fun at their image in a very negative way. However, there are also the people who feel that using the names of Native Americans and their image is not only very honorable, but is a helpful reminder to people of the fight that they once went through. We are going to take a look at some of the different standpoints on the matter, some statistics, and even some cases that have resulted from this dispute. Honoring Native Americans is what many believe the mascots do. Those who support the use of these symbols and identities are convinced that they show their admirable characteristics and reflect them positively. In June of 2007, there was a law signed by Governor Phil Bredesen, for the state of Tennessee to be able to “continue to honor certain persons or cultures through the use of symbols, names and mascots” (Holliday.) However, the bill stated that it would be void in...
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