Title Take Down

The topic of whether or not a title like Warrior or Redskins is offensive or not has always been a topic of controversy. On one side of this public discussion, people believe that a title referring to a Native American is something we should be proud of and cherish because it signifies strength and teamwork, but on the other side, people see it as a disrespectful gesture towards anyone with a Native background.

There have been multiple cases of colleges changing their names because of backlash from people saying that the name is “cultural appropriation” or “discriminating against their livelihood”. In the case of Marquette University, they chose the most resolving pathway. This university is a Milwaukee based private Catholic scholar that had their mascot madness in 1994. This school holds a long reputation of mascot changes, but their change from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles was one for the books.

 A debate over the decision of whether to change the name or not was held in 1993. Finally, they decided that their name could be taken wrongly and did not just stand for a powerful nation and changed it to the Golden Eagles. This scenario showed how titles like these can be taken very offensively by some so they come together to change their own school’s mascot.

In the history of sports, there have also been multiple teams that have chosen not to change their names even with the controversy and backlash from others. One of the most prominent examples are the Washington Redskins. This NFL team has had quite a run with their name debut but has never actually committed and changed it to something that sounds less like a racial slur. Many people believe that using a derogatory word like Redskins is extremely offensive to any Native heritage. They also believe the rituals that the fans take part in such as wearing feather headpieces and shouting muffled chants with their faces painted in a bright red can and is taken offensively by the people. In the Redskins case, their pride over their name took hold and have yet to change their name to something that produces less of an uproar. 

In my opinion, I do think that using names like these are offensive. I think that it is trying to make Natives sound like ruthless people who only know how to fight and scream, which is not the case. I also think that by using these titles for competitive sports, many jokes can be made against the team that can come back and be used as a disrespectful saying to the Natives. Usually when a large group uses a title that is related to the Native American culture, they make the statement that “they are honoring the tribes and members and showing respect” but in reality its seen as disrespect to a heritage that should actually be honored and praised in all places, other than a ball field. I feel that no team, whether it is just a small school’s mascot or an NFL team’s livelihood. A name like Warrior or Redskins should never be used to name a group of people besides the ones who deserve and truly cherish the privilege of the title.

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