The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

October 30, 2013

Jim Bailey: What's in a nickname? Redskins controversy just tip of the iceberg

It has surfaced before. And no doubt Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s latest vow to keep the team’s nickname won’t be the last word in the commotion over whether that and similar designations are offensive to Native Americans – among others.

Team nicknames and mascots have abounded for decades that came out of the Native American traditions across the country. We have not only the Redskins but the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland (and Indianapolis and Anderson) Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco Warriors and Chicago Blackhawks, to name the most prominent, along with dozens of colleges and hundreds of high schools that use variations of Indian names.

Of those, a case could be made that Redskins may be potentially the most derogatory, a term that often has been used in the same sense as the N-word in referring to African-Americans. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says it is “very offensive and should be avoided.” This despite its sometime use as a term of familiarity or endearment by many Native Americans.

History tells us the Washington Redskins got their nickname in 1932 when original owner George Preston Marshall chose to honor head coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who was known as an Indian. Later, though, it was reported Dietz got into trouble for falsely misrepresenting himself as an Indian to avoid the draft.

Opposition to such nicknames is usually spearheaded by activists, as if that is any big surprise. Do most American Indians really care? Not according to one recent poll that resulted in 90 percent of the respondents essentially saying they couldn’t care less.

The NCAA has been pressuring its member schools to get rid of nicknames and mascots that relate to Native American culture. And National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said recently, “If we are offending one person, we need to be listening.”

Text Only
Community
  • NWS - HB0425 - garfinkel exhibit - 02 Center for the Arts opens vibrant exhibit

    A layover in Japan more than three decades ago changed the course of New York-based artist Gloria Garfinkel’s work for the rest of her life. The Anderson Center for the Arts opened its latest exhibit featuring Garfinkel’s work Wednesday, and it will run until June 13.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: April 25 A compilation of community news items as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • Weekend Calendar: April 25 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 25-27.

    April 24, 2014

  • Live music: April 25 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • FEA HB0424 Bids for Kids Bears - April 2014 Annual Bids for Kids auction starts Friday

    Breaking the cycle of child abuse is one of the most difficult things to do, but the people of Madison County aren’t ready to give up trying.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Bailey: Figuring out how to have the good in life without the bad Most of us have had those faith-shaking episodes in our lives. The tragic episodes that leave us wondering what life is all about.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community Briefs: April 24 A compilation of community news as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

    April 23, 2014

  • FEA - HB0423 - food truck file -NE Food Truckin' Thursday returns

    A new favorite that combines food and cars is rolling back into town next week. Food Truckin' Thursday starts back up May 1. For about six months, local vendors will pull up their food trucks to Citizens Park Plaza at Ninth and Main streets from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0423 Tipton Community Briefs: April 23

    A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin