Column: Calling out the use of 'Indian' mascots

"A gutsy little counter-protest took place at the corner of Third and Kings streets before the Giants' Memorial Day matinee Monday.

The primary demonstration involved a small contingent of people calling for a boycott of the visiting Braves, hoping that someday soon Atlanta's baseball team might pick a bird or a big cat as its mascot instead of caricaturing American Indians. As the group waved its signs and chanted the word "racism," a burly young man walked by and screamed: "No, it's not. It's in the sport. Who cares?"

He hit the last two words really, really hard, taking a bold stand for apathy. Clearly, he cared very deeply about not caring.

"Nobody likes to change their views," Steve Jacobson, a protester from Oakland, said quietly and a tad sympathetically.

Time is not on the side of the status quo. High schools and colleges have been switching away from American Indian names for years. The NCAA now restricts the use of tribal mascots in its postseason events. Some team in the pros will take the leap in the next five years."

Get the Story:
Gwen Knapp: What's wrong with changing a nickname? (The San Francisco Chronicle 5/27)