NCAA bans use of Native American mascots

On August 5, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) made a decision to ban Native American mascots by any member university, calling the names “hostile and abusive”. One of those universities is Florida State who bares the nickname the Seminoles, named after the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The following was on the Florida State university website in response to this decision:


Florida State University is stunned at the complete lack of appreciation for cultural diversity shown by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s executive committee, which announced today a policy banning schools using Native American names and symbols from hosting NCAA championship events. That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as culturally “hostile and abusive” is both outrageous and insulting.

On June 17, the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida spoke unequivocally of its support for Florida State University in its use of the Seminole name and related symbols. Accordingly, I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the “unconquered” spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

National surveys have shown in recent years that an overwhelming majority of Native Americans are not offended by the use of Native American names and symbols. In making its decision, the executive committee has been swayed by a strident minority of activists who claim to speak for all Native Americans. It is unconscionable that the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been ignored.

The rules as we understand them would have us cover the Seminole name and symbol as if we were embarrassed, and any committee that would think that is a proper and respectful treatment of Native Americans should be ashamed.

I have a problem with this view. First of all, what about the Seminoles that live outside of Florida, for instance in Oklahoma? How do they feel about this? What is comes down to is that if these names offend anybody, then they should be removed.

We had a similar issue with the confederate flag flying over public buildings throughout the South. People took up issue with this because of the racial condentation involved with the flag. Even though the states involved said that this was nothing more than saying “We’re proud to be southern”, a lot of people did not see it this way, therefore the flag was removed in most places.

The only problem I have with the NCAA policy is that it only applies to postseason tournaments. This is where FSU and universities using names like them could have some manuverability in the court system.

Still, this was a bold step in the right direction by the NCAA.



~ by Steve L. on August 12, 2005.

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