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Stanford Indian Mascot

March 25, 2012 by staff 

Stanford Indian Mascot, The propriety of using Native American mascots and images in sports has been a topic of debate in the United States and Canada since the 1960s. Americans have had a history of drawing inspiration from native peoples and “playing Indian” that dates back at least to the 18th century.

Many individuals admire the heroism and romanticism evoked by the classic Native American image, but many too view the use of mascots as offensive, demeaning, or racist. The controversy has resulted in many institutions changing the names and images associated with their sports teams. Native American images and nicknames nevertheless remain fairly common in American sports, and may be seen in use by teams at all levels from elementary school to professional.

During the 1960s, the National Congress of American Indians created a campaign to eliminate negative stereotyping of Native American people in the media. They focused mainly on cartoons and movies; however their protests of sports organizations garnered the most attention. The National Congress of American Indians has long been opposed to mascots that portray Native Americans in a negative light.

They feel that teams with mascots such as the Braves and the Redskins perpetuate negative stereotypes of Native American people, and demean their native traditions and rituals. Proponents of Native American mascots, however, believe that Native American mascots pay respect to these people and promote a better understanding of their cultures. Despite this issue emanating during the civil rights movement, it still continues today as many teams continue to possess mascots with controversial names and images.

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