Opinion | Sports

Andre Crambit: Apologize for mistreatment of Native women

April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse were detained and forced to leave a San Francisco Giants game on June 24, 2014. Photo from Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry

Andre Crambit calls on the San Francisco Giants to apologize to the public for the mistreatment of two Native women at a recent game:
Ironically on Native American Heritage Night two American Indians (April Negrette and Kimball Bighorse) were accosted by SF Giants security over a headdress that was being worn by a non-Native fan. They were wronged and physically harmed during this unnecessary and preventable event. Both parties should have been treated in the same manner by Security: Bighorse and Negrette should not have been the only participants to be forcefully handcuffed, detained, and asked to leave the game. I feel that Mr. Bighorse and Ms. Negrette, were punished for speaking out about the harms of Native mascotry while the true wrong-doers were allowed their dignity, their bodies and their well-being to be uninjured.

Native Americans should be able to not only attend events free of harmful cultural misappropriation, in addition to being able to speak out about the desecration of Native cultures, people, and sacred items. American Indians have the same right and protection of the 1st amendment, as do other US citizens. Additionally, we have the Indian Civil Rights Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. These acts provide additionally support to Natives in exercising their rights. Speaking up should not have to be an act of courage.

Security for the Giants organization at ATT Park treated the parties involved in this dispute differently. Ignoring the concerns of the Native peoples involved in this incident highlights the lack of awareness around freedom of speech concerning Native Americans. It is my hope that the Giants organization will educate their personnel on how this has been an example of HATE SPEECH, as much as wearing blackface, and should be treated as such.

YouTube: Native Americans Forcibly Detained After Asking MLB Fan to Remove Headdress

Get the Story:
Andre Cramblit: San Francisco Giants Made Colossal Error In Warbonnet Fiasco (Indian Country Today 7/13)

Related Stories:
April Negrette: Kicked out of a baseball game over a headdress (7/2)

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