Here are excerpts:

“The real issue, I believe, has less to do with Indian mascots, and more to do with the representations of American Indians in both the public education system and the mass media….

For many people, the portrayals of American Indians in movies, television, halftime shows, books and cartoons may be the only “contact” they ever have with the American Indian culture. The context of the stories told about American Indians is almost always in the past tense, in a past time, contributing to a subconscious thought that American Indians no longer exist and/or are part of fairy tales….

America needs to reevaluate the mass media messages and images we send about American Indians, and we can start in the public school system. Last year, the American Psychologist Association stated that the continued use of American Indian mascots ‘establishes an unwelcome and often times hostile learning environment for American Indian students that affirms negative images/stereotypes that are promoted in mainstream society.’ …

I know you’ve got a lot of sentimental attachment to your Chief Illiniwek. I know that that attachment has nothing to do with racism. But Chief Illiniwek is a thing from the past, a part of a fairy tale, and it’s time to let him go. To too many people, of all races, he doesn’t honor or represent American Indians, he defines them.”

The position of League of Fans regarding American Indian nicknames and images as sports mascots is that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Such names and images, no matter their intent or popularity, are inappropriate and insensitive as they mock and trivialize Native American religion and culture, and block genuine understanding of contemporary Native people as fellow Americans. We believe that the elimination of American Indian nicknames and images as sports mascots benefits all of us. The elimination of stereotypes makes room for education about current American Indian issues, and the rich variety of indigenous peoples, cultures and traditions in our country.

People who take a principled stand against injustice have a right and a responsibility to fight racism, no matter who the target is. Please help to end racism in sports against Native people. For more information please visit:

American Indian Sports Team Mascots

FAQs about the institutionalized use of “Indian” sports team tokens

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media

Statement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport – Native American Imagery Resolution (pdf)

American Psychological Association – Resolution Recommending the Immediate Retirement of American Indian Mascots … (pdf)


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