Addressing the racism of team identities is an educational and powerful legal step for everyone in sports and all Americans. I am glad to see someone who also says it is not enough. That this someone is a Native American does add power to the message. I have been saying the same thing since I understood the issues. Many others agree. Yet too often we are given choices between one thing or the other when reality is that both are needed, both are important.
Gyasi Ross clearly identifies the realities in Native American lives today and he does not let either the tribes or America as a whole off the scales of justice and judgment. We can all do better and we must. It will not be easy. People readily divide along lines of “them” and “us” and maybe we always will. But in this case we share the same lands and it does not look like any of us are going anywhere. Can we figure out a healthier them and us, a better way forward, together?
Talking about the teams’ identities is only a place to open the discussion. It may be the best place given the intensity of the feelings around the topic. We CAN do this but WILL we do this?