Column: Shoni Schimmel calls for end to racist sports mascot
Friday, November 8, 2013
More on: basketball, mascots, redskins, shoni schimmel, umatilla, women
Schimmel, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the
Umatilla Indian Reservation who played in the NCAA basketball championships this spring, speaks out against the use of racist mascots in sports:
In the past, Schimmel was reluctant to speak publicly about topics close to her heart, for fear she might turn people off. Now, she is gradually owning and accepting the megaphone that sports has given her. She is one of the most prominent athletes of Native American heritage, one who finds herself at the nexus of a hot-button issue: Should the NFL's Washington Redskins change their nickname?
Two years ago, maybe even last year, Schimmel would have deflected the question. Not anymore.
"I would change the name of the Redskins mainly for the Native American people as a whole," Schimmel says. "It's about respect for the Native American race, especially to not promote the racism carried over from the past. It was racist to be called a 'redskin' back in the day, so what makes it OK today? There isn't a team called 'whiteskins' or 'blackskins' -- how would that go over with the world?
"Just because what our people went through was hundreds of years ago doesn't mean we forgot what happened, forgot what our elders went through. Changing the name would help give us, as Native Americans, the same equality that every other race wants."
Get the Story:
Kate Fagan: The five faces of Shoni Schimmel
Rep. McCollum joins AIM
protest at Washington-Minnesota game (11/7)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians hosted owner of
Washington team (11/7)
Indian heritage claims of famed football coach (11/7)
DC Council calls for elimination of football team's
racist mascot (11/6)
urges fans to contact DC Council about name (11/5)
Rep. McCollum: Don't allow use of racist mascot in
Washington team in honor of Chief Red Cloud (11/4)
DC Council to take up resolution against Washington
Ray Halbritter: Racist
football mascot slanders Native people (10/31)
Gyasi Ross: Don't fall for false binary in Indian
mascot debate (10/31)
'Savage' Indians buried deep in American psyche (10/31)
Oneida Nation disappointed by NFL's defense of
racist mascot (10/31)
Copyright © Indianz.Com