What’s in a Name?

Atlanta Braves infielder Martín Prado

Atlanta Braves infielder Martín Prado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversy over the use of Native American names and symbols has been looming over the past few decades. For both sides of the argument there are many ties to tradition whether it is traditions of a sports team or of a culture.

While looking at many different universities, schools and sports teams’ mascot controversies I have noticed a lot of similarities in the pro-side mascot side of the argument. Although all of these mascots are not the same and have their own traditions, pro-mascot fans have a common argument: Our mascot honors Native Americans.

This argument to the controversy has come up many times in my finding within this issue. Most people believe that because the mascot is not meant to be offensive people should not perceive it to be so.

There are also some team names where the name itself does not necessarily connote a negative stigma but it is more of what teams have done with that name. For example the Atlanta Braves baseball team, the term Braves does refer to Native Americans however it is not perceived as a racial slur unlike the Washington Redskins. Although the term “Braves” itself is not seen as offensive, the actual depiction of the mascot can be seen as politically incorrect and insulting to the Native American culture.


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