Over the last 50 years or longer, sports teams have decided to use Native American names as their mascot or team name. Native American names and gestures have all been used at the professional, collegiate, and high school level. Some examples of this include the Kansas City Cheifs, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, Red Raiders, Indians, and many more. Some gestures such as the tomahawk chop and Indian cries have also been used.


     There are many different reasons people choose these options as their names. Teams choose these names because they admire them and many think of them as roll models. Many also view them as strong and courageous. A lot of people love their way of life and how spiritual they are as well. An announcer for the Cleveland Indians who is part Cherokee believed that the name "Indians" could provide a chance to educate people on their culture and history. Randy Rollyson states “My great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. I have no problem, whatsoever, with the use of Native American logos. None at all." On the other hand, Scotty Sochay states “Bottom line: Our historical relationships with outside groups are fraught with broken treaties, agreements, and promises. As a result, we are generally distrustful of outside groups. Thus, we have a problem when an outside group tells us we ‘should feel honored’ by their usage of Native imagery. Rather than telling us to feel honored, let us decide how to be honored. And if that means dropping the imagery, please respect our culture.” 


     I personally think that all teams should be able to use Native American names as their mascots. I would feel pretty honored to have teams named after me or my people. However, I have not been in the place of Native Americans and can understand how they feel based on history.


Do you think sports teams should be able to use Native American names and gestures?

Do you know anyone that doesn't like teams changing names such as the Washington Redskins or Cleveland Indians?






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  • Great topic choice Weston! Your summary is fine but could be a tad longer. I would also like to see you comment more frequently as well.

  • I think sports teams should be able to use Native American names for there sports teams. I think that most of the times the people that are saying it is offensive, don't even belong to these groups of people. With the reasearch I have done on this, a lot of Native Americans don't find it offensive.

  • Yes, I think sport teams should be able to use Native American names. Because, it didnt become a big deal till people started complaining about it. No one ever thought that the sport teams were being racist or rude in anyway. I think if a sport team was representing my ethnicity I would be proud of it becuase that just gives you a reason to cheer that team on. 

  • I think they should be allowed to use them as long as they are respectful and the people of that culture is okay with it. If they are told to change it or told by the people that they find it disrespectful then they should change it. I haven't heard of anyone who is upset with those teams for changing their names.

  • I think that it's stupid that the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Redskins were forced to change their names. I believe that sports teams should be able to use Native American names and gestures because they've had them for so long and only recently are people getting mad about them.

  • I do think that sport teams should be able to use Native American names and gestures. I think that it recalls the history of the team. I think by getting rid of those names or changing them to something neutral is just changing history. I think that Washington and Cleveland should have their names changed back. 

  • I think that the NFl teams should be able to have native american names and gestures. The Redskins now known as the Washington commanders had nothing wrong with there name to begin with. They had no problem for such a long time until people kept getting mad and fragile about it.

  • I agree that teams should be able to use Native American names as their mascots. As long as it's appropiate, I think it should be allowed. I can see how it might offend some, but it's not meant to. Most of the time it's to honor them, not to offend them.

  • I think that they should be able to do what they want if its appropiate. I think that you shouldnt be able to change your name because they probably have had that name for awhile and it represtent something important. I think that they should be able to use Native Americans names and gestures.

  • The story of the redskins logo for their baseball team is actually one of great honor to native americans. Native american cheif Zema Williams posed for the drawing of the logo and said it was a great honor to be represented in the american pass time. 

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