Who motivates and gets the crowds hyped and ready to cheer on their team, and represents the team and the spirit of the team? The mascot is the one that does that. Does the mascot represent the team and what they believe, or help the team win the game, most likely not. The debate still goes on whether or not the choice in mascot/themes could be insulting or result in being a disgrace to the culture or image that it is portraying in the image. This paper will address whether or not Native American mascots are offensive or not. Many teams get their names from Native American tribes or the characteristics that the tribes hold that the team would align themselves with.
A mascot represents the team based on characteristics and traits the team would like to represent and find important. A few examples of this are the Washington Redskins and the Florida State Seminoles. A lot of people disagree that the use of Native American-themed mascots should be allowed because they find them offensive and/or racially insensitive. However, many people, including Native American tribes and their members, have spoken out to defend these mascots that are supposedly insulting. The intent of having a Native American mascot, I believe, is not racist or insulting. It was meant to be an honor to Native Americans. I do not think having a team named after a Native American tribe is offensive or disrespectful.
Teams pick their mascots out of respect. I do not see how it is offensive. I think teams and fans love and back their mascots. They do not look at their mascot and think or try to be offensive. Rather, they see something motivating and uplifting. For example, my family is from North Dakota where they had the same battle over the “Fighting Sioux”. I am pretty sure fans never thought of it as anything but a mascot. I think it stands for tradition, memories, and fun. We have become a society where everything should be equal and fair. If it is presented in the wrong way or not looked at in the wrong senses, it’s offensive. “It was never intended to be racist. Twenty years ago, you didn’t hear about any of this, and I just think we’re in a society that tends to focus on being more politically correct now, and they want to look for a reason to exaggerate everything(Smith).”
I completely understand if we were intentionally using it as a slang word meant to offend. I genuinely think these are just fans supporting a team. I love the way Joe D. Horse presents this image, “You know, in the past, if you look at some of the historical documents, the R-word was referred in common language as a way to reference a Native American and it was negative. If we compare the origin of the R-term to the N-word, it’s very similar, because the N-word didn’t have a derogatory meaning as it does today…(Horse).” To summarize, I do not think mascot where picked to offend others. The mascots were chosen to demonstrate strength and features to be desired. Our society I believe has become very sensitive. I think overall it is your own opinion on the problem, but I think we have to keep an open mind to things. Not everything is meant to be racist and disgraceful.