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?
Can US Mayors Confront Racism? Will They?
“There can be a meanness,an ugliness” in sports.
Kareem Adbul-Jabbar: “I couldn’t believe that someone could have that much bigotry inside and think that it was OK” when referring to Sterling and his racist comments.
“Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin told the mayors’ meeting he hopes the Sterling drama will serve as a catalyst for positive changes in society.
“We can focus on Donald Sterling all we want or we can be smart about it and focus on what we can all accomplish when we come together as one,”” Michael Irvin said.
Joining other media the Detroit news is no longer using the name of the Washington, D.C. NFL team. This is good news. In an upcoming post I will explore the origins of the name of the Cleveland MLB team, the meaning of the word and the topic which is generating heated attention:
Robert Roche announced earlier this week a coming $9Billion lawsuit against the team, in federal court. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2109290-tracking-cleveland-indians-potential-9b-lawsuit-from-native-american-group
Redskins Trademark Cancelled
Very good news and the legal fight will continue. Let’s move on the Cleveland MLB team as well.
Racism, Causing Violence?
Why???Why does racism matter? It leads to violence ultimately. Why does violence matter to you, me or anyone? When people physically attack each other the risk that any individual can be physically harmed grows. When we see violence, when we read about violence, when we know people who have been victims or survivors of violence or when we our selves are physically harmed the likelihood that there will be more violence increases.
It is simple self-interest for each of us to want to see violence reduced. We cannot guarantee that we ourselves will be able to protect ourselves or our loved ones each and every time there is a risk of violence. This is true no matter who we are or where we live.
For our own personal safety the far smarter course is to work to increase the support for mutual respect and peaceful means of reducing disagreements and physical conflict. Simple to understand. Not always simple to do. Still worth knowing and still worth doing.
Racism hurts everyone. It is time for the sports organizations to understand this, discuss it and work to stop it. Cleveland, The Dolan family, all the faith organizations in Cleveland and Cleveland baseball fans everywhere–you can start the process. Change the team name and retire Chief Wahoo. Will you?
Washington, D.C. NFL & History
The team name and origin of Redskins…one version.
Reader, do you know that at one point the early European settlers received bounties from their government authorities for scalps of Native Americans? http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/american-colonists-practice-scalping This is another version of the origin of the name “Redskins”
Calling ALL Team Owners
The opening game for the New England Patriots is against the Redskins, the Washington D.C. team at the center of the national naming controversy. I wonder if anyone sees the irony here and if the team owners can have a serious conversation about racism before then.
I do know that the United Church of Christ is voting on a boycott next week. http://cacucc.s3.amazonaws.com/3DF2257A64C24E0391FF5D14C75E4CE7_Washington%20National%20Football%20Team%20Resolution.pdf
The Oneida Nation, through activist and tribal leader Ray Halbritter is leading the charge. I am happy to endorse all his efforts and ask him and his team to join everyone wokring to address the issue in the hearts and minds of fans, players, owners all the public everywhere.