Native Americans Give Other Groups A Taste Of Casual Sports Team Racism

An ad from The National Congress of American Indians doesn't mince words, or horribly racist images, to make a point about retrograde sports mascots.

Native Americans have long tried to raise awareness about the racism inherent in their portrayal in sports team iconography like the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins.

President Obama recently stirred the long-simmering pot of this dispute by weighing in on behalf of Native Americans. “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he was quoted as saying. And now, a campaign from The National Congress of American Indians has come to light that attempts to give perspective on just how offensive these teams' names are.

The poster reads: ”No race, creed, or religion should endure the ridicule faced by the Native Americans today. Please help us put an end to this mockery and racism by visiting www.ncai.org

The ad shows a Cleveland Indians ball cap adjoined by one that reads "New York Jews" and another that reads "San Francisco Chinamen." Each also features a mascot which tastelessly accentuates the classic stereotypes of the people described. The point of the campaign is that if you find any of these hats offensive, you should find all of them offensive.

As reported by Slate, the ad isn’t new—it was created by agency Devito/Verdi in 2001—but it's back in the spotlight as the issue has come to the fore and as the NCAI releases a new report on it.

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37 Comments

  • Seriotharovax Nic Ferriovax

    They didn't make a black hat because Blacks and Indians are the only two everyone hates and keeps down and throws in prison for life on a national level.

  • imbruglitom

    I believe the Indian reference (Cleveland and others) was always to very positive qualities such as tough and determined fighters, which is why it was never viewed as a putdown by the vast majority of people. It seems people are more recently being told to be offended by this, as opposed to their more natural reaction which was that it was never meant to be offensive.

  • Seriotharovax Nic Ferriovax

    Anything the majority (whites) thinks on another demographic they have no idea about short of Hollywood is automatically mute. The White Government still thinks all the tribes and nations original to this land fall under one race and ethnic group. In light of that, 'nuff said.

  • suebee

    E$'s point is on the spot - it is only Native Americans that appear as mascots. Also, Murricanomore is still using the term 'Japs' - a derogatory term. Hmmmm...your bigotry is showing. And Freedomofspeech, I have never heard any Muslim ever complain about crosses on churches. This divisiveness and bigotry is apalling! You call for respect, but you are certainly not being respectful.

  • Jason

    Those are very well designed hats. I would wear one with my own race on it.

  • BigJ

    I not only want one, I wan't one with my own heritage on it. I don't even care is a stereotype is put on it. Say a black eyed Irishman.

  • MURRICANOMORE

    So what is next? We need to change the dolphins because it invites the Japs to kill more of the dolphins? Let's change the Giants name because tall people get offended. How about the patriots? Let's go even further, let's start changing our street names, or town names that are in spanish like Palo Alto, Alta Mesa. Let me guess, no one wants to say something about those because it won't give you media attention.

  • FREEDOMOFSPEECH

    This is the example of the liberalism that is destroying this country. This BS needs to stop. The muslim are offended because a cross is placed on the outside of a church. But we can't say zhit about how they treat their women and how they need to dress. People now days do anything for a penny and some media time. Let's start respecting the opinion of others. 

  • daveshortpants

    I'm Chinese living in San Francisco and I'm quite positive that I want that hat. 

  • Gerhard

    @ KATMC28: Its not exactly surprising to me that Italians might not be so upset, seeing as they weren't decimated, diseased, and displaced for centuries by invaders who didn't know what continent they were on.  Imagine if we had invaded and pillaged Italy, and did so while referring to them as "Koreans" or "Colombians" (no disrespect to either country...), and even after we learned how bad we were at geography, we still decided to name two of our favorite sports teams that competed on the newly occupied land by that name, and every time they would win a game we would wear shirts and fly flags covered with offensive cartoons of an Italian person accompanied with a "Koreans" or "Brazilians" name beneath it.  Guess then Italians could be pissed.

  • Gerhard

    @ KATMC28: Its not exactly surprising to me that Italians might not be so upset, seeing as they weren't decimated, diseased, and displaced for centuries by invaders who didn't know what continent they were on.  Imagine if we had invaded and pillaged Italy, and did so while referring to them as "Koreans" or "Colombians" (no disrespect to either country...), and even after we learned how bad we were at geography, we still decided to name two of our favorite sports teams that competed on the newly occupied land by that name, and every time they would win a game we would wear shirts and fly flags covered with offensive cartoons of an Italian person accompanied with a "Koreans" or "Brazilians" name beneath it.  Guess then Italians could be pissed.

  • E$

    The point they're making is that they're the only race or religion that used as mas ots. It would've been better if they had one called the Whiteskins.

  • KatMc28

    Almost every pizza box has a stereotypical Italian on it. Or Italians are portrayed as mafia-type tough guys. No one ever says a thing about it. Maybe the word Indian is what is found offensive, even though it is not a derogatory term. So is the caricature what's found offensive in combination with the name?