Braves BP Cap is Perfectly Fine, Settle Down

Written By:  •  Saturday, December 29, 2012

Atlanta Braves Batting Cap hat 2013 indian logo - featured

“Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Pretty interesting to me how often Shakespeare has a line that so perfectly sums up something currently happening, from the minutia in every day life to the large and inconceivable tragedies. In this particular case of the Braves batting practice caps, sports bloggers are full of indignant stomping and bluster, as IF this was a tragedy, but lucky their fits which the Bard said, signify nothing.

Atlanta Braves Batting Cap hat 2013 indian logo - braves feather

1972-1979 Alternate Logo

The caps aren’t terrible. They aren’t racist. At the very worst, they are only the Braves 4th best logo, after the feather, the lowercase a, and the twin tomahawk circle. These white, entitled, coddled wannabe sports writers (which I am, myself) are crying and whining as if they personally are affected in any way by this logo (which I am most assuredly NOT.)

Somehow the people who don’t like the logo keep referring to it as the “Screaming Savage” even as the logo itself is quite obviously laughing. There is a smile on his face. No one with the Braves or the MLB calls him that, and that has not been the implication. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good hissy fit.

Let’s not forget what this logo is, or why it is there; It is an almost exact implementation of a logo the team first used 58 years ago when they were located in Milwaukee. This isn’t a team breaking new ground into imagry that might possibly offend, this is a team paying tribute to their logos past, to an image many, many Braves fans have seen their whole lives, who associate it with good times of watching baseball. And who buy massive quantities of throwback merchandise with this logo and its variations.

Atlanta Braves Batting Cap hat 2013 indian logo - indian braves head

1966-1971 Alternate Logo

This is not some old logo, relegated to the dustbin for lack of interest. It is one of the prime identifying marks of the team, and it is popular. It is available as a FatHead  everywhere on hundreds of different tshirts, and fills the Atlanta Braves Team Store in the CNN Center, and inside the stadium. During the season, thousands wear gear with this logo.

If people want to get upset about racial issues regarding Braves gear, how about we protest over this Jason Heyward bobblehead?  (I would be in that picket line, with a sign held high. I honestly can’t even believe it is real. Seriously, did you click on it?)

Also, let’s be clear, while using the team colors of navy, red, and white, the face is not red, its white. The figure is not bludgeoning anyone to death, it isn’t lifting a wallet, or tipping back a bottle of firewater.

Why do these white, overfed, bloated corpses, warmed only by the glow of their monitors as they hack out their blog posts feel they can determine what is offensive to other people? And why do they only pick Native Americans to get upset for?

If cartoon versions of particular groups of humans are going to annoy, here are some other teams they should object to:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

This logo says all Irish have beards? They all fight in an old timey manner with the backs of their fists facing their opponent? Racist!

 

 

 

San Diego State University Aztecs

Their alternate logo  leads me to believe that all Nahuatl-speaking peoples from central Mexico wear chicken head costumes and have an angry countenance!

 

 

Southern California Trojans

Their helmet logo angers me because it says that ALL men of Troy were fighters, with yellow faces and floofy-topped helmets!

 

 

 

Appalachian State Mountaineers

Mountain people everywhere are ALL wearing unkempt beards and crumpled up hats! As someone born within a few miles of a mountain, I’m am FURIOUS that they would make us all out to be awkward hat wearing heathens!

 

 

I am not pointing out other potentially offensive mascots in order to say, “If we’ve got one, we can keep them all,” rather, I’m showing how ridiculous these objections are to the above teams, which are equal in absurdity to the arguments against the Braves logo.

Atlanta Braves Batting Cap hat 2013 indian logo - atlanta braves head

1967-1971 Primary Logo

The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania polled almost a thousand Native Americans in 2004, and their results confirmed a previous Sports Illustrated poll’s findings, concluding that 91% of the American Indians surveyed had no problem with the Washington football team being called the “Redskins,” arguably a FAR worse slur against Native Americans than anything the Braves have ever put out. If native Americans THEMSELVES do not object, than who are you to post scathing blog posts about how insensitive YOU think the hat is? Have you at all considered that your opinion isn’t necessarily appropriate or applicable in this situation? That perhaps, you’re out of your element, Donnie.

Oh, I’m not saying you don’t have a right to express your opinion. You do. Just like I have a right to express that your opinion is stupid, overwrought, and completely misguided.

1987-1989 Primary Logo

In 1995, I was doing research for a paper I was writing. The Braves were in the playoffs, and protesters were outside of the stadium again. I noticed how pasty white they were and wondered if this was truly the way our country’s native people felt about the issue. I live in Cherokee County Georgia, so I went to an Indian group and asked their president why he wasn’t at the ball field with a banner. His answer summed up everything quite nicely for me. I will paraphrase his answer because I don’t have my notes from that conversation handy. He said;first, their name and logo aren’t offensive. Second, if they were, they are not me. Why should I be lumped in with every depiction of every indian ever? I’m not a red faced alcoholic thief or what ever issue some people want to ascribe to one race of people. I’m not that. So why would I get offended? If you get mad when they attribute negative characteristics, it must be because you aren’t confident in your ability to prove those people that their notions don’t describe YOU.

What adjective was ascribed to the citizens aboard Flight 93 an September 11th who overtook the hijackers and put the plane down in field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania? What do people call Captain Sulley, who landed his plane, after complete engine failure, safely into the Hudson River? What do they call the unknown man who stood in front of the line of tanks on their way down Chang’an Avenue to quell the Tiananmen Square protest? They call these people brave. To be brave is to put others in front of yourself. To put aside your own personal fears and take action for a greater cause. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to honor, respect, and pay tribute to a people than to hold up their image and call them Braves. This logo on this hat works for the good of the Native Americans. It shows them as selfless, honorable, and to be respected. To be called brave is one of the biggest compliments that can be paid. I, like the 91 percent of Native Americans surveyed, like the imagery. It reminds us of people who barely enter our lives in this day and age, but were so vitally important to humanity.

William Shakespeare wrote a many great works, but few are as appropriate to this situation. Especially telling is the first part of the sentence I quoted at the opening of this piece, the part that is often clipped off. The sentence actually begins; “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

Told by them, indeed, Bill. Idiots, indeed.

Attention: The opinions expressed by this writer are his alone and do not, necessarily, represent the views of the site, though really, there are some really great points here that totally make sense.

 

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JR Francis

JR Francis is an actor, writer, director, graphic designer, UX guru, father, comedian, and craft beer snob. You can reach him at jrfrancis@sportslogos.net or on Twitter @JRFrancisSLN*One of several full-time uniform reporters this site has including its founder, Chris Creamer, who started his site in 1997

  • Douglas

    Perfect!

  • Tony

    Well said

  • Matthew Garry

    Agreed! **whistle whistle click click**

  • T

    I wish everyone could read this article.

  • Mark

    I clicked the link…

  • http://cargocollective.com/charlesmertens Charles Mertens

    Well done. Couldn’t agree more. People freak out over the stupidest things.

    • Momoffour

      Stupidest things? Do you think mocking someone’s heritage is a “stupid thing”?

      • 11in ’11

        Mocking is wrong…the point of this article is that nobody is actually getting mocked.

        • jfb

          no, the author is just referring to an entire race of people who are offended by this image because it is racist, “idiots.” yeah, that’s not racist /sarcasm

        • D’Arcy

          The author doesn’t get to decide whether or not the logo is offensive to anyone, least of all Indigenous people. He should shut the deuce up and read a couple books about Indigenous history in North America and try to understand why this kind of imagery is not OK.

          • aZebra

            If you are native american then thats fine, but if not then you shut the deuce up. I am 3/4 native american and I love the fact that they have baseball teams named after my heratge. He is not saying that this isn’t racist, he is trying to say that it isn’t ment 2 be. It is ment to be an honor. That being said, I wish they would make it more cartoony like the Indians so it doesn’t look like a real person.

          • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

            Love how aZebra states that you can only disagree with him/her if you are Native. That is the whole point of this exercise. A bunch of white guys congratulating themselves on how they are not racist for liking something they believe is not racist in direct contrast to what multiple Native persons have said. Your cognitive dissonance is stunning.

  • Chris Phillips

    Wow that is spot on…I copied the link to your article, wrote about how you need to research before you write and emailed it to the most opinionated person I read online…Paul Lukas.

  • Jimmy Kemp

    It’s politically correct liberals who complain about this, native Americans don’t even care. It’s a tribute to them, its not making fun of them. Like are the Detroit Tigers offensive to Tigers? How? It’s a tribute to the Tiger, same thing when a team is called the Chiefs, Braves and Indians. Is Notre Dame’s logo racist? All Irish people don’t have beards and like to fight, its ridiculous.

    • Momoffour

      Sorry to burst your bubble but please check out the writings of Char Teters, professor of art at the Institute of American Indian Arts (www.charleneteters.com). As a Spokane woman and artist, she has protested the use of Native figures as mascots for over 30 years and she has a huge following. If you think Natives do not object you clearly have never met a Native person!!

      • aZebra

        I am a native person and I am greatly honored that they have teams named after my heritage. I am more offended by you putting words into my mouth as a native american.

    • Ashley

      …did you just compare a minorities to animals? Ha ha, oh wow.

      • Will

        He sure did! “DEM DANG DERR LIBRUL YANKEES COMPLAININ ABOUT RACISM. YOU DON’T HEAR MONKYS COMPLAININ ABOUT IT DO YA?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.sopp Mike Mark Sopp

    Lol. I’m a politically correct liberal who loves that hat.

  • Andrew Stone

    The peopl whining about it need to shut the hell up and quit looking for attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.merzbach Brian Merzbach

    100% agree. Where are the actual Native Americans who are upset about this ?

    • Momoffour

      Only everywhere. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_mascot_controversy. Just because you don’t know they are pissed doesn’t mean they aren’t.

    • Terrie

      They’re all over the place. Wake up and pay attention.

    • aZebra

      At the time, no. The Indians were named in tribute to a baseball player on their team. As of right now, I am all for it. But some people (mostly white men thinking they are doing the right thing) are not. If you look at North Dakota the Sioux tribe WANTS the team 2 keep the name “Fighting Sioux” But unfortunatly, that problbly won’t happen.

  • Alex Giobbi

    At least someone agrees with me. Why make a stink over this? It’s a sports team logo, not a Nazi symbol.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      Hilarious that you mention the Nazi symbol because Hitler appropriated that from Indian culture. “Swastika” is Sanskrit.

      • Momoffour

        The swastika was also found in Dine (Navajo) images but turning in the other direction. Germans have had a fascination with Native American culture since the mid-nineteenth century.

  • Michael

    Your lack of adequate research on the topic is jarring, perhaps you should have bothered to read responses from actual Native American people instead of using such reductionist logic.

    See: http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/2012/12/dear-defender-of-new-atlanta-braves-cap.html

    • Chris Creamer

      Please read the article before flinging ridiculous claims.

      • Ashley A.

        What ridiculous claims did Michael make? He linked to a blog–posted prior to this article–that predicted and addressed pretty much every facet of JR Francis’ arguments here. You’re free to disregard the link to the Native Appropriations site (though you should not, despite how tough it can be to read a logical, thorough take-down of everything you were head-nodding along with), but don’t tell someone else to “do their research” when they’ve clearly engaged with this subject more fully than you. Callously dismissing someone =\= trump card.

        • Chris Creamer

          The ridiculous claim he made was that the article was not researched and didn’t take into account the Native American perspective. It clearly did and was I pointing that out.

          • Michael

            No, it did not. A conversation from 1995 and a statistic from 1999 is not a thorough representation of Native American opinions, but please continue to dismiss valid criticism because there’s is no logical or factual reasoning to support this article as a piece of well thought out and developed reflection on a serious topic.

          • Chris Creamer

            You stated in your comment that there was no research done, there was, that’s all I was saying. That’s the end of it.

      • Michael

        Referring to random people the author met in 1995 is not adequate research or journalism. Is it that difficult to Google “Native Americans + Braves logo” and at least acknowledge there is a different side to the story or that Native people have had differing opinions on the topic? Seems like a lot of people here just don’t want to make the effort to do anything beyond make excuses.

  • Kyle Suchy

    I couldn’t agree more. Very thoughtful and well written article. On a side not, another potentially offensive team I’ve heard some complaints about are the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jarrett.baker.31 Jarrett Baker

    I agree with this article 100%

  • Douglas Snazel

    It’s not liberals who are upset you idiots, it’s the actual Native Americans that this insults that are upset. If some of you morons would lower your e-Peens for ten seconds and read about how and why Native Americans find this offensive, maybe, just maybe you could broaden your minds. More likely, you’ll take your consumer drone brains over to Wal-Mart buy this crappy hat and then when people get offended, smile like the Trolls that you are and say something like, “well it’s a free country”.

    Almost every major Native American tribe has denounced these racist logos, but we just like to pretend its latte sipping liberals that are upset, because we’re so addicted to cheap merchandise.

    • Ryan

      Douglas Snazel, you do a nice job starting your argument by stating we are idiots for buying this hat or liking this logo. Why don’t you “broaden you mind” by making a legitimate argument without your insults to Braves fans who just might happen to like this logo. There is nothing offensive about it.

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

        Her ‘legitimate’ argument is that actual Native Americans find this offensive. Or, are we saying that if this was ‘legitimate’ racism, society has ways of shutting that down?

      • Mandana

        Very good job defending racism-well thought out, clear descriptions, good use of references. But still racist. Congrats on that then.

        As a Native woman, I am one who takes offense to such imagery. The intent of the image and the use of Indians as mascots may not be negative. Unfortunately, the impact is that we get compared to “tigers” and “bears” and other fierce animals and, therefore, dehumanized. We are still here, we are real and we are capable of sharing our own opinions in matters like this. We don’t need some random guy complaining about the liberal view without having done the research. There are plenty of Native folk out there who see this logo and others as racist imagery. Just because some non-Native people don’t see it as a problem, and just because there are some Native folks who don’t see it as a problem, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. It is a problem.

        • MxT

          So, Natives are also compared with Rangers and Brewers and Philadelphians. Not all teams are fierce animals, but they all have some sense of respect and significance attached to them. It’s not like these logo-makers are cracking jokes; they’re emphasizing their brand in a way that earns it legitimization. I’m from Philadelphia, so should I be offended by this: http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/2256/Philadelphia_Phillies/1970/Primary_Logo? Why should I? That’s not the way I dress, I’m also more in shape than cartoon-Phil, but it’s the way Philadelphians fashioned themselves back in the day. When Natives laugh while wearing attire that is displayed in the logo, I bet it looks a lot like that.

        • aZebra

          If you are offended as a native, chill out. I am also a native and I am honord that they have names like these. Maybe if people would thin about the big picture like WHY they have names like this (to HONOR natives) we wouldn’t have 2 b this worked up over a sports logo.

          • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

            Speaking of ‘honoring’ Natives, I wonder if any of the proceeds of Native appropriated sports imagery directly benefits any local tribe? I can’t recall but I think I remember the Seminole nation in Florida being compensated for their likeness, etc. Otherwise, no one has put any money where their ‘honor’ is.

            Kind of like people who claim to be Native because of their ‘great great great grandmother was a Cherokee princess’ but do not participate in Cherokee or other Native culture at all.

            This ‘honor’ is false.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      You’ve convinced me to buy two of them when they come out! See all I needed was some motivation! Thanks!

      • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

        My comment was meant for Douglas Snatch or whatever the heck his name is!

  • http://www.facebook.com/onedcgd Kyler Danger Wilson

    Way to read the article Douglas

  • John Quincy King

    Hey Doug… did you know most American Indians actual are ok with the “Redskins” name… (they most used moniker in the “racist sports identities” argument)

    It’s a vocal minority (many of whom aren’t even American Indians) who don’t speak for the majority but claim they do.

    • Momoffour

      Mr. King, I think I have to call BS here. You are going to have to show some proof here. The only study that said that the term “Redskin” was okat was a poll conducted by Sports Illustrated from their subscribers, NOT among Native Americans. I don’t think a group of sports fans can judge the issue. Ask the subscribers of a Native publication and I think you will have a different opinion expressed.

  • David Brown

    This has been going on since the turn of the last century ! Too many peeps getting involved who aren’t politically minded, those who know it’s a possible racial slant, the others looking to make a buck or two off of the sacrifices which were made! The people looking to make a quick buck are also part of the agreement in which they apathetically apologize for offending whomever is offended by it , by stating moronic comments, such as ” your forefathers didn’t object why should you?

  • David Brown

    The last thing that people need is to be racially stereotyped, which is what this appears to be! I’d like to see a rapper being offended whilst someone makes on offensive caricature of a rapper with his pants halfway to their knees! This would be a true statement as to how low our society has gotten in history!

  • John Robert Crawford

    I like it. It’s a classic.

    • dz

      Mmmm, classic racism!

  • Mr Plow

    Wow, how stunningly ignorant. Let’s continue to normalize racist depictions of a marginalized minority, they won’t mind! It’s not a big deal. Holy white privilege, Batman.

    And then the lame false equivalencies and appeals to “tradition”. You might as well replace “Braves logo” with “confederate flag”. Hey, it’s heritage, not hate!

  • PacMan

    I guess what strikes me is that this appears to be an article written by a white guy telling the world why Native Americans (and thusly, anyone else) shouldn’t be offended by a logo that uses what could be interpreted as a racial stereotype. And, through pure guesswork, I’m guessing those that have ascribed their 100% approval of the article are also not Native American.

    Look, I understand the politicization of these logos…it’s been going on for years. But what I’m not seeing are the voices of Native Americans telling us whether they are offended or not…and judging from the responses in this article and in the comments, I can see why they would hesitate to be vocal about any dissension towards it.

    The false equivalency of using “other racial logos” is rather flaccid. No one of Irish descent, to my knowledge, has ever objected to the use of the Notre Dame logo. That doesn’t mean that Native Americans should not be offended by the use of a different logo that affects them. The idea of using the Aztec logo as an equivalency is also humorous, since the tribe has been wiped out for centuries. Same thing for the people of Troy. Why don’t you include a logo involving the people of Atlantis while you’re at it?

    I’m not a “politically correct liberal”. However, I am also not a white guy who believes I can tell minority groups whether they should be offended or not by a logo, or tell other white guys why they should feel no guilt in supporting a potentially offensive logo based on the recollection of one interview with one Native American nearly a decade ago.

    • Chris Creamer

      “The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania polled almost a thousand Native Americans in 2004, and their results confirmed a previous Sports Illustrated poll’s findings, concluding that 91% of the American Indians surveyed had no problem with the Washington football team being called the “Redskins”

      • PacMan

        Seriously, Chris? You’ve decided that because of the results of a survey in 2004 that YOU, Chris Creamer, can marginalize one out of every ten Native Americans who ARE offended by the Redskin logo? Who are you to decide that Native Americans who are offended aren’t worth listening to because of a poll? Seriously??

        Did you follow the court case that started in 1999, Chris Creamer? The Redskins LOST the rights to their own logo, then won them back on a technicality in appeals court because the plaintiffs didn’t get some paperwork done on time. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so here we sit…with the only fair trial (thus far) removing their rights to the Redskin name and logo, and expensive lawyers and lobbyists getting it back.

        Think. Just because you WANT to be right, doesn’t mean that you are. Just because a majority of others agree with you, doesn’t mean you get to dictate what other people can and can not be offended by.

        • Chris Creamer

          No, I was just pointing out the statistic you missed from the article in your response… I was defending the article, not necessarily the point-of-view.

          • Pacman

            I don’t believe I missed it, and regardless, I just addressed it in my previous post. Now, Chris Creamer, why don’t you spend some time actually addressing the issues I and numerous others have brought up in the comment section, instead of playing the straw man. This article appears on YOUR site, and apparently JR can’t be bothered to defend his own words…which is why we just keep talking to “dad”, who doesn’t actually have to take any ownership of the words spoken.

            Chris Creamer: how do you justify, as a white man, deciding exactly what percentage of Native Americans being offended by a logo as being legitimate enough for you? What right do you have to say that a group of people that a logo AT LEAST one of of every ten are offended by should accept it is “perfectly fine”.

            If you’re not going to defend the words that appear on your site, get your author to address them.

          • Chris Creamer

            Again, I simply pointed out that your claims the article provided only the opinion of an interview with one native over a decade ago were false. That is all.

            My opinion on the matter is my opinion and I’ve chosen over the years to keep it to myself.

  • Cody M.

    Ha! What an eloquent way to support institutionalized racism. Let it be known up front, I am Native and I also am a professor of American Indian studies. I am not some “white, entitled” sports wrier, because believe it or not, Indians do have a voice in this matter, too. This image is beyond offensive to me, and many, many other Native peoples. I’ve lectured on the mascot issue in class numerous times and I used to show the image of the so-called “screaming savage” (which is what people colloquially refer to it as), and joked with both Indian and non-Indian students about how at least the Braves stopped using this logo years ago. In all of my classes the students unanimously agreed that it was one of the most offensive mascot images; I guess those days are gone now. You can flaunt that Annenberg poll all you want and you can claim that you talk to one Indian person belonging to some “Indian group” almost 20 years ago who didn’t care about it, it still doesn’t make this right. Also, shame on you for bringing September 11th into this issue and using the memory of those people to support a racist mascot logo; that is simply disgraceful.

    • 11in ’11

      You are funny. Maybe that’s why the Native American is laughing! (I know you called him a “laughing savage”, but I refuse to use such blatant racist terminology).
      * I am part Ukrainian/Russian, so the team name “Reds” is offensive to me, bringing up memories of communism that killed and imprisoned my ancestors.
      * I am also part Scottish and Irish…Notre Dame logo has to go immediately, not to mention the various teams nicknamed “Scots” or “Highlanders” (or the entire Shrek movie franchise for that matter!)
      * My wife has Scandinavian ancestry…no more Vikings mascots (soooo offensive)
      * What about the Ole Miss Rebels?…offensive to African-Americans?
      We could go on and on, but it’s time we all got the “heck” over ourselves and enjoy sports for what is suppose to be: a release and escape from our lives and all the PC baloney that ensues. PLAY BALL!

    • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

      The logo is called the ‘Laughing Brave’ I’ve never heard the word ‘savage’ associated with it until this hat was shown in the ESPN article. It’s just a case of people trying to make it seem worse than it is by calling it something it isn’t.

  • K

    The logo is objectifying, stereotyping and marginalizing an entire RACE. Your failure to see this shows exactly how much white privilege you hold.

    The logo is one from the 60′s? Oh! Well that totally makes it okay I guess! because this didn’t happen in the 60′s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_civil_rights_workers_murders

    People didn’t hold any antiquated ideas in the 60′s regarding race or religion, right???

    TIMES CHANGE. GET WITH IT. USING A RACE OF PEOPLE AS A MASCOT IS NOT OKAY.

    • 11in ’11

      I was listening to the Tomahawk Chop as I read your comment

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

        Nope, no racism here. Move along, ya’ll; nothing to see here.

  • amelia

    “Where are the outraged Native Americans?”

    Right here, and believe me far to intelligent to get involved with a writer and commenters who have very clearly stated that they do not care to hear any other opinions, and that anyone who disagrees with them are idiots. So yes I disagree, I find the name, hat, logo, offensive and no do not wish to argue with uninformed people about why.

    If the sum of your opinion is “I talked to this guy once and he said it was fine” and therefore all people SHOULD agree, then sir, you and your horde can carry on believing yours is the only opinion that matters. The rest of us merely need to point to this article as proof of how racism works in this society….if that doesn’t work, look to your commenters as to further proof that ignorance and racism go hand in hand.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      The fact that he feels he can be the arbiter of what is racist is rather stunning.

  • samthor

    yeah… it’s totally not racist for the the majority to use their white privilege and decide what the less powerful groups are allowed to be upset over. After all, history has shown that white men knows what is best for everyone else…. just ask them.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      But…they’re just trying to have a good time! It’s not racist because they are enjoying themselves.

  • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

    Evil intent does not racism make.

    For example, the first time I ran into pickaninny was in my mother-in-law’s laundry room. My mother-in-law, before she died from cancer, was an absolutely beautifully kind woman. To her, pickaninny represented her childhood and fond memories and her history. She had no ill intent in owning it.

    Still crazy racist.

    So let’s dispense with the tradition-not-racism argument and the it’s-honoring-native-peoples argument.

    And if I poll 1000 black people and ask them whether blackface is racist and the majority say “no”, then use that poll to justify that pickaninny isn’t racist, that would be ridiculous.

    The fact is that you DON’T know whether native peoples (who are not one mega people, by the way) find this racist. You determined your premise and found a study to back it up because of your own personal feelings that are rooted in ‘goodness’. I would venture that you did little to no research as to who funded the study, which First Nation people participated, and the methodology of it.

  • http://www.bluecorncomics.com Rob Schmidt

    The people who “love” this article must’ve skipped the parts about how old and popular the clownish mascot is. Because those arguments are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the current protests.

    “It shows them as selfless, honorable, and to be respected.” Hee-hawing like a donkey (your claim) or screaming (the Native claim) is equivalent to selfless and honorable? I guess you don’t have the slightest idea what “respectable” means if you think a braying “brave” is respectable.

  • Oona

    I am a Native American (Hoopa, Karuk, Yurok), I am a baseball fan, and I am a graphic artist, and as being such, I’d like to point a few things out. There are Native Americans who are offended by this logo (including myself), but that is beside the point. The truth is, the game of baseball doesn’t need a “laughing brave” face in order to show bravery; it doesn’t require any such outdated iconography to elevate itself to where it belongs, as the great American pastime. Secondly, I know for a fact that a good designer doesn’t need to resort to such imagery in order to make a great logo. In fact, it’s laziness at this point– they’re recycling an outdated image and they are recycling an outdated notion. Additionally, this logo perpetrates that notion that the sports world is full of blundering white knuckle-draggers who have no ability think outside of their narrow box. I’d like to see that change.

  • Uncle Stabby

    To my fellow white males, it may sound trite, but grasping the following concept has changed my life for the better:

    “Being privileged doesn’t make you a bad person, but acknowledging that you are privileged might make you a better one.”

    Enjoy your front row seats on the wrong side of history.

    • http://www.invisiblehistory.blogspot.com Joe Whittle

      Thank you so much! If only more could understand things as you do!

      Right now I am saying prayers for the victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre on this the anniversary of that tragic event. And trying to forget that the racism that drove such an act is still alive today…it has just become much more insidious, ingrained, and subtle…

  • http://www.invisiblehistory.com Joe Whittle

    How fitting that you posted this today, on the anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Wow. As a member of two federally recognized tribes, I would like to with all due respect, tell you to go F yourself. Thank you, for deciding for me and all other Native people, what we should and should not be offended by…oh Great White Father, from whom all wisdom and knowledge comes…thank you for educating us poor, misguided, heathen, savages.

    (Oh, sorry, was that not a well-reasoned and mature argument against your case? My bad. I thought that when debating an idiot…you don’t need to present a rational and polite case? Kinda figured what’s the point? Clearly no one can turn an apple into an orange…so it’s doubtful I could ever do anything to change you from an ignorant racist to an empathetic human being…)

  • Momoffour

    As a professor of Native history, I can only assume that this article was written from ignorance, not malice. Yet, what ignorance! I urge the writer, Mr. Francis, and I urge those of you who do not see the problems with this to spend a minute or two reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_mascot_controversy. As quoted there, “Although most Native American activists and tribal leaders consider Indian team names and mascots offensive, neither Native Americans in general nor a cross section of U.S. sports fans agree. …There is a near total disconnect between Indian activists and the Native American population on this issue.” Fix the disconnect.

    • Meredith

      Hooray for all who have pointed out the problems with Mr. Francis’ article. So many people, especially white people, need to get a clue. If you want to know if something is perceived as racist then you had better ask and LISTEN to what that group has to say about it.

  • http://www.troubledraven.com Xh’unei

    To be honest, a white guy defending racism is not surprising. Commentary on his article that treat such an act like a breath of fresh air is not surprising. My advice (and I am sure you do not want it) is this: when you find yourself, as a privileged white male, wanting to speak on behalf of marginalized populations about how they might feel, then it is time to be quiet. No Native American in the world needs you to speak for them on this issue. It matters little how you feel about it because it is not your heritage and identity that is being appropriated. To write articles like this only complicates the matter, because now you have attempted to take away our ability to speak for ourselves.

    Native people do not need polls abut whether images like this tired, stereotypical, racist one are offensive. They are offensive. I speak my language, I teach about Alaska Native and Native American perspectives and issues, and I research issues like this one. Why are you so passionate to defend something like this? How does this become your issue? What right do you have to attempt to become the voice of reason about cultural appropriation?

    I am not going to write articles about how Euroameicans feel about anything, because that is an act of ignorance and a waste of time and effort. Write about things that are going to make a difference. This is America. People have been racist for a long time. Taking that privilege away is not an attack on you or your rights. Trying to make life a little better for groups who have been attacked for centuries is not a politically correct liberal act. Such terms are used to take us out of the debate, and into labeling and name-calling.

    This is a new era, where voices of Native American people can speak for themselves, and do so quite well. If you want to ignore that and listen to what this guy has to say about our people, then you are choosing your own path of ignorance and misunderstanding.

    • http://www.invisiblehistory.blogspot.com Joe Whittle

      Thank you for that! Much better put than mine. I have tried to use reason and polite logic to “debate” these issues so many times with the white people trying to tell us what we should and should not feel, that I basically have just given up and want to simply say, “F you!” every time I see something like this now. Your patience and reasoned conversation is admirable. But perhaps I am being cynical, but I doubt it will make much difference to someone such as the author of this article. My gut tells me empathy and reason are not his driving forces…

  • Squizz

    My family heritage is Danish, English, and German. My ancestors were pioneers who crossed the west in wagons and handcarts, as well as some of them being part of the gold rush. I therefore find the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Vikings, Milwaukee Brewers, Portland Trail Blazers, and the San Francisco Forty Niners all offensive! Just saying, and if you want to see an eye opening experience on American Indians and mascots go to the Res areas of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, when your there check out all the Native Americans wearing KC Chiefs, Florida State, Utah Utes, Cleveland Indians and even Washington Redskin gear, oh and remember there was a fight over the fighting Sioux, the part of the tribe not being influenced by liberal white people were for the mascot.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      Nothing wrong with an oppressed culture appropriating imagery from the majority culture oppressing culture, including: removing Native children from their families so they could learn to be ‘civilized’ and to obliterate the Native culture, preventing it from being passed down to the next generation.

      Also, comparing the 49ers to First Nation peoples is a ridiculous comparison.

      • Squizz

        Cut that “First Nation” garbage off! The Atlanta Braves are not in Canada, and I’m so glad I’m not allowed to be offended.

        • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

          The fact that you refer to ‘First Nation garbage’ is pretty telling in and of itself. There is nothing logical/rational here.

  • http://google.com Matthew Garry

    Chris Creamer is my hero.

  • http://google.com Matthew Garry

    I think the Reds new cap offends me more than anything.

  • http://google.com Matthew Garry

    And to sum things up, I asked my Navajo buddy Sam his thoughts on the logo. He said, “Reminds me of my grandpa”. Anyone can get offended over anything. It’s all opinion. I personally like the cap.

    • Mary

      I find it interesting that every time this issue with mascots comes up, someone always has a native friend who doesn’t care about it. I don’t believe that for a moment.

      If you want the opinion of a native, I’m telling you I don’t like it and that it’s racist and offensive to me.

      Again, why not use a white man for your logo?

      • Matthew Garry

        You assuming I’m white is pretty racist itself. You’re entitled to your own opinion just as I am mine. And I respect that. However, I really think this is quite an overreaction over something so small. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Anyone can get offended over anything.

        • Ashley

          Considering what you just said, I’m 99% sure you’re white. If you were a minority, you’d understand why people are angry.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      So one Native guy you say you know trumps all the many, actual Native people right here telling you they are offended.

  • Matty

    So, first off, it’s offensive. Second, even if it was a minority of American Indians that found it offensive, which it isn’t, why would you still support something that hurts any amount of people? Over a game where fat dudes hit a ball with a stick? This is the hill you are going to die on?

    Look, I’m Irish and I find the Notre Dame logo offensive, as it encourages the stereotype that I’m a violent pugilist. Here’s the thing though: for the most part, I have been considered white in this country for a hundred years or so, and therefore do not have virulent racist roadblocks flung at me 24/7 in the form of inadequate access to jobs, education, healthcare, and housing. And then there’s the whole issue of the land rights fiasco, which Indians have been dealing with since 1642. Which is a little while.

    This is all a roundabout way of saying that this logo represents a hurtful, ignorant, and racist point of view that is far too common in our society. It is as offensive as any other stereotype and more damaging because of the large amount of visibility. Mix this all up with the continuing oppression of Native peoples and we’ve got a real problem.

    Also, you mentioned the skin of the logo was white? The outline is bright effing red, brah. Rhetoric fail.

  • Mary

    I’m Oglala Lakota and I hate the logo. It is racist, it’s ugly, and someday you will no longer be able to use us as your mascots. Natives are NOT a mascot. We are real people who still exist and you can bet your ass that there are a lot of REAL natives who hate this logo and are going to continue fighting against it until you can’t use it anymore. Why don’t you use a white person as your logo?

    Oh, and the Braves SUCK.

  • Stephanie

    Ignorance concerning Native American issues is widespread these days and as a result, we often see people who think they can speak on our behalf. With mascots and logos such as this, the misrepresentation of Native people only grows. The difference between us and the Trojans is that we are a living, breathing culture with very real struggles. This logo should have remained retired and the fact that this is just a piece of the teams history, having been created 58 years ago, is not a positive argument for it to remain. This was a time where racism was still highly prevalent and there was absolutely no consideration taken into account for the opinion of Native Americans. I think I can say pretty confidently that no one consulted a native person or group to see if this was an appropriate image, and it isn’t. The reason we think these sorts of things are okay is because we’ve been taught to think in this way by our racist ancestors. It’s a mindset we need to change.

    You said yourself that this does not personally affect you, we’ll it does affect Native Americans. These stereotyped images only serve to create judgement and confusion.

  • Mary

    The problem is that some of these people have no culture of their own, so they think it’s okay to appropriate from mine. Same people who wear headdresses to rock concerts. They are lost and they think they can take from someone else and use it as their own. And when we stand up and say it’s racist and wrong, they say “Shut up, we’re honoring you” or “You should be glad we are honoring you”. Yeah right. I don’t feel honored, I feel disgusted.

    Go find your own culture and roots, and be yourself. You don’t need the head of a cartoonish (and stupid looking) native on a ball cap to signify strength or bravery.

  • Ed Campbell

    Dear friends,
    Perfect timing, really.

    Here’s some more information about this petition:

    Encourage the Washington Redskins to change its name to the
    ‘Washington Warriors’ (team may keep logo, fonts,
    colors).

    If this petition gets 25,000 signatures by January 22, 2013,
    the White House will review it and respond!

    http://wh.gov/QWx8

    The capital of our great, inclusive country is home to a professional team
    with a racially offensive name. Yes, American Indian culture is vital to us
    as Americans understanding our country, but the Redskins moniker is obsolete
    and insulting. While I believe local governments, boards of directors, and
    citizens should have the privilege to vote on a school or university’s
    team name and symbols, the situation is different for a professional
    organization like the NFL where marketing is more extensive and, frankly,
    owners should know better. It is time to change the name of the Washington
    Redskins NFL franchise to the ‘Washington Warriors;’ as a
    concession to free enterprise, the team and its owners should be allowed to
    keep the team’s logo (somewhat respectful), fonts, and color scheme.

  • N.LR

    Thank YOU for this PUTTING this at center even if the center is not at the core of the consciousness of most Americans. I appreciate your ability to piece the past to this present and am so sick of the cyclical futility. This country (USA) would do some could in acknowledging the genocide of the country called America that has undone so many now extinct tribes/nation.

    Honoring = demoralizing? Not too cool. So many other avenues of thought, TRUTHS and more. Where are all the ones who want to know the TRUTH? If you truly do, THAN this is a good start. Otherwise, allows some sensitizing, or else you will just be swept up in the story telling of lies and pretend scenarios. That would be sad. Simply because there is SO MUCH MORE MORE. Find it, educate, ask question – and then – share this with those who do not know. And keep that ripple effect going.

    Aho!

  • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

    Pro Tip: If you cling to your opinion in the face of evidence to the contrary, then it has no foundation in logic; you are simply perverting logic to justify your emotions and wants.

    You guys clearly want this not to be racist. Citing studies that say Native people ‘don’t mind’ doesn’t change whether it is or not.

    • amelia

      great point, not to mention citing a study that you have NO IDEA how it was conducted, OR do not wish to share any details about how it was conducted, who participated or for what purpose it was created is pretty much like saying “i asked my friend he said it was ok” so 100% of the people you asked agreed. Just ignorance full on!

  • Aaron

    Put the current alternate cap logo as their BP design and the tribal logo for their alternate home caps.

  • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

    I’m offended that the Washington Nationals organization takes the images of some of our greatest leaders and races them around the field in a silly manner during the 7th inning stretch.

    As a student of history, I can recall reading about the Confederates in the Civil War calling the Union Army ‘Yanks’ or ‘Yankees’ I’m offended that this derogatory term is now used as a name for a Major League Baseball team.

    Since I am of Irish decent, I am offended by Notre Dame and the logo they use. Also the name. The name has to change.

    I’m offended by the New England Patriots. That team wants to use the name of a group of people who fought for our freedom, and a lot of them lost their lives. That team is making profit off of the blood of our forefathers.

    While I’m at it, what about the San Francisco 49ers? That team is named after so many people who lost their lives in pursuit of a better life. How dare they profit from the deaths of so many brave and ambitious souls.

    I don’t recall the Texas Rangers giving permission to use their name for a professional franchise.

    I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here on these opinions, but dammit, my vote counts and because I’m crying the loudest on these matters, ALL of it should be changed.

    See what I did there? Some of you sound just like that. For some it’s white guilt (which is stupid by the way) For some they just like starting arguments even if it has nothing to do with them. It’s pretty pathetic if you ask me. So many people can’t leave well enough alone when it is very obvious that this team is not trying to be insensitive or racist. Why don’t you take your strong opinions and mouse clicks to a real cause like World hunger or clean energy. Bringing attention to this matter will result in even more caps being sold. Hell, I might just buy 3.

    • Michael

      None of the groups you listed above were part of a systematic and intentional genocide the way the Native Americans were. Telling people their culture and how it’s represented could also be seen as a way of erasing the experience of Native American people, but God forbid you’re not able to buy a baseball cap.

      • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

        So because none of those groups had as many casualties as the group you are crying about, I’m not allowed to be offended? Exactly the kind of reaction I was expecting. So these groups don’t matter then because it’s not part of your ’cause’? I see. So what you are saying is that you and most of the kids at their keyboard on this subject are phony and just like speaking on things that have nothing to do with them.

        • Pacman

          Once again, a false equivalency.

          Let’s choose some random logo and pretend someone MIGHT be offended by it. Then, because no one has been offended by that logo, NO ONE can be offended by any logo, right? Wrong. I saw someone ask one of the Native Americans who posted here if they were also upset about the Fighting Irish logo, Why would a Native American be upset about a Fighting Irish logo? Its not their culture, nor their place to intend to speak for Irish-Americans. Therefore, it is not your place to speak for them, much less make a hackneyed example that admonishes Native Americans for daring to be offended in the first place.

          • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

            So if I’m not part of a particular group of people, then I am allowed to have ZERO opinion on the matter? I happen to not be offended by the ‘Laughing Brave’ logo. and I think it’s so silly to see people get bent out of shape over something so small when we have so many other problems. Racism exists because too many people try to find it in every little thing. Vote with your wallet. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

          • Pacman

            No one says you’re not allowed to have an opinion, nor is anyone taking away your first Amendment rights to say it aloud. However, the idea that you are going to A) speak on behalf of a group of people who actually have the ability to be offended by a logo; or B) tell them they shouldn’t be offended by it because you know better than they do how they should feel about it. Racism is what it is…and if you deny an entire race their voice to express their disagreement, you’ve created yet another problem.

          • Textilemonster

            What Cromwell did to the Irish is, if not genocide, at least ethnic cleansing.

            …Really, there aren’t too many groups who “haven’t” suffered something specifically aimed at their culture or ethnicity. Acadians, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Irish… the list goes on and on.
            (As an aside, Current TV has a liberal talk show called “the Young Turks.” Having seen that the original Young Turks are the ones ‘responsible’ for the ‘numerous’ relocations, ethnic cleansings and outright genocides that occurred between 1908 and the 1920s… this is kind of “really” inappropriate, isn’t it?)

  • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

    I never say Native Americans shouldn’t speak on the logo. Most of the people bitching about it are not Native American anyway.

    • Chris

      Most of the people bitching about the logo are white people who think they understand the problems of Native Americans just because they’ve been to a casino on a reservation…it’s pretentious self-righteousness at it’s finest.

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

        Except for all the self-identified Native people here.

      • amelia

        Actually a lot of us are Native Americans (like me) but you don’t care about out opinions, and if we disagree with you, even less so.

  • Aaron

    I think you forgot to include the Rebels (UNLV and Ole Miss), Eastern Kentucky Colonels, uMass Minutemen as being potentially offensive.

    • Chris

      Ole Miss’s logo is a plantation owner. I’m not offended even though it doesn’t represent who I am. I’m white and anti-slavery, which means I should be offended that a school thinks a Civil War-era plantation owner logo is a good idea. However, I’m not offended. I have not come to the conclusion that all white people in Mississippi are plantation owners because…well, mainly because I’m not retarded.

      Again, I’m not offended by a team having a “racist” logo. There are bigger things to worry about.

      • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

        THANK YOU. Breath of fresh air.

  • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

    I’m reminded of the intramural basketball team formed at the University of Northern Colorado called the ‘Fighting Whites’ They did it to try to offend people the way they thought native American imagery offended Native Americans. It backfired, to their financial benefit. The team could barely keep up with the demand for apparel with the team mascot and name and they made a ton of money. I’m white and I approve!

    • Aaron

      The university of Colorado Fighting whites? Gee, I wonder why they changed their name to the Rams.

      • Chris

        University of Northern Colorado…intramural team.

        CSU is the Rams. CU is the Buffaloes. CSU changed from Aggies to the Rams.

  • JR Francis

    Article author here…

    First off, thank you for all of the comments. Those who leave comments do so, hoping they will be read and their point taken into consideration. I have read every word here, and will continue to do so.

    Thoughts I have -

    1. I’m amazed at how many folks didn’t read the entirety of the article. I referenced research, made points, and said things that were totally missed. I appreciate Chris for diving into the comments to try and point that out, I’m sorry that he got caught up in the perception of taking sides in the matter at hand. He was simply pointing out the pieces that were missed in the article, not taking a position on the subject matter. I take the blame for making an article too long, too dry, or too polarizing for people to easily finish. I will try to do better to limit my words in the future.

    2. I have respect and admiration for Native Americans. If my words seemed to indicate otherwise, they were badly chosen words and I didn’t portray myself correctly.

    3. My original intent with this article, and my continued one, is NOT to tell any Native Americans what they should feel, think, or do. It was not intended to tell them any of their concerns were invalid. In fact I was not addressing Native Americans at all. (Is there an acceptable shorthand way to say that? NAs?)

    4. This article was to tell the guys that look just like me, who come from families similar to mine, whose families have endured relatively minimal challenges that THEY don’t get to tell ME how to feel about my team’s Batting Practice hat. If a guy from one of those blogs was here in the comments, telling me his blog was correct, then I’d have a position to debate him.

    5. I have never seen so many comments from those who consider themselves Native Americans. Most times, there is no reason to mention it, which i consider a good thing for all races, sexualities and denominations on sports news boards. In a vast majority of cases, it isn’t pertinent. I am curious, however.. was this link shared somewhere online that is to thank for this influx of traffic?

    6. I will not lower myself to calling names of our readers. If we disagree, I’d love to discuss why. If your only logic is that I’m an idiot, then have a good day. But I really enjoy a good debate, and I enjoy learning more about a subject.

    7. From reading these comments I realize that this topic can’t be complete with this post. I am assembling a new article, with several viewpoints, and hope to post that soon. Please come back and discuss with us then.

    8. I hope to have some shame in this promotion, but we would really like to have all these differing viewpoints back for a second round of conversation. Please follow us on twitter, or like us on Facebook to get notifications when the followup is posted. Or, just check back on the site.

    Thank you. Truly. I hope to learn more and have more interesting discussion.

    Happy New Year to all. Best wishes for you and your families.

    • PacMan

      About time you showed up. Kind of hard to have a conversation with Chris, who didn’t write the article and spent all of his time just trying to correct how people chose to disagree. Personally, I think you’re both in over your heads here. There’s an awful lot of intelligent counterarguments that are going completely ignored…as someone said, your opinions trump someone else’s facts and emotions. That’s where the real disconnect is: you’re fighting based on the defense of your fandom. Someone is “attacking” your team, and you’re really not picking up on why. 1. No one missed anything in your article. The “studies” that you cited were dated and/or subjective. Chris restating those and tell us we missed them doesn’t mean we missed them. We took them for what they were worth. 2. I’m glad to hear you say you have respect for Native Americans. Actions speak louder than words. 3. Your intent isn’t to tell Natives how they should think, but you title the article “the BP cap is perfectly fine”? Do you see the disconnect between what you wrote and what you are saying now? You don’t seem to backpedal on Twitter when your fellow Braves fans are complimenting you. 4. You’re serious? You’re fighting for the rights of white people to choose whatever they want to wear on BP hats without being attacked by minority groups? Well, I will admit that’s been quite the underrepresented in the minority rights lobby. 5. So, you’re implying that when a Native American symbol is used, people should have “grown out” of identifying themselves as Native American? Apparently, culture is now an old-fashioned concept? 6. You’re not an idiot. You, however, developed an opinion and wrote “evidence” around it that “proved” it. It’s poor journalism, its poor science. It doesn’t hold up anywhere except in the court of public opinion, and only with those that agree with you. In the end, you’ve proven nothing, but did a very good job of writing it. 7 & 8. I’m sure Chris is thrilled with the traffic, and is encouraging you to continue this line of thinking. I question your motives in doing so, as nothing you’ve said implies you’ve really taken to heart the very heartfelt and rationalized criticism. You seem far more buoyed by the folks who simply say, “I agree 100%” and “I haven’t heard any cow complain about Texas having the Longhorns, so Natives can’t complain either!”.

    • Josh Logan

      JR Francis, I hope you really do continue to read these responses as you have said otherwise you would never be able to see anyone else perspective. Although from your wording I regretfully think you are firm in your position no matter what. I guess we can get right to it. I disagree with you on several points. Lets start with your comparisons:

      Fighting Irish, this mascot was made by the people it represents. No Native mascots were made by the people they represent. FSU has the permission and guidance to use the Seminoles as their mascot, no other teams who have native mascots have done this. This also plays into the honoring someone bit; to ask is to honor to continue after being told is does not honor is to dishonor.

      Aztecs and Trojans I will lump together. These represents groups of people who are no longer around to let us know if they are displeased with their visage being used in such a manner. Same can be said about teams such as the Vikings as well. I assure you Natives are still around (as you may have noticed).

      Mountaineers, first off this is not an ethnicity nor are cowboys. Bad comparison here plain and simple, being an ethnicity or race is not comparable to a lifestyle or job.

      Lets expand the native mascots to something like the “hispanos” or the “africanos” and see how that flies. Lets just skip to the end of that actually, it would be pretty evident that is not right. Both of those groups having larger numbers in the US and having more pull affects how society reacts as many people know people of these groups, not so much of natives. None of the comparisons you give lend any weight to your position, they are excuses and poor ones at that.

      So now we are at numbers, you asked a native who holds an important position (appeal to authority) and they had an opinion that you seemed to agree with. But wait you back this with a small sample poll of natives and their feelings on the subject as well. Are you insinuating that the number of people who disagree or agree with a subject has any bearing on the validity of the issue or idea? Simply put that is not correct, it is best to critically look at ideas based on their own merit and not whether they are popular or not. In the beginning of your article you used a similar approach noting the item is everywhere and popular (Fatheads etc.). The popularity of ideas and things change over time, these methods do not tell us if something is right or not.

      When you revisit this idea again as you said you would I hope you do a little more research. I know you said you did but you hit some pitfalls that have been addressed in the many scholarly articles on the subject of native mascots. Also you state you will not address anyone who just name calls or states you are an idiot however I ask you do the same; your closing line is a quote from ole Bill and your use of it insinuates anyone who holds the position you disagree with is an idiot.

      To anyone who feels like responding to me, please make sure your point has not already been addressed in any of my above points.

    • Mark Loft

      I am happy to see that the article author has shown up to read the comments, I hope this one reaches him.

      I find it absolutely fascinating that you see the bobblehead as racist, but not the braves logo. They are exactly the same thing, two offensive caricatures, yet you only see a problem with one. That shows how ingrained, and acceptable, racism against aboriginal people is in our society.

      I found your article pretty one sided. You never presented, or even examied the other side of the issue, and I think that’s where many of us took exception. It’s not non-native people who are making a “fuss”, those are just the voices you choose to recognize. Not only are these images terribly offensive, they’re also harmful (please see this link from American Psychological Association)

      http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/indian-mascots.aspx

      I still feel like many of you won’t be swayed unless you have “evidence” that native americans are offended, that’s why that junk science poll of unknown methodology keeps getting trotted out, so try this:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20040301122612/http://www.indiancountry.com/?43

      81% of native americans polled chose mascots are “offensive”. Consider me part of that 81% and I hope to read a more balanced article next time.

  • Masternachos

    I only bring this up because I find it odd and kind-of sort-of would like an explanation:
    Red Mesa High School, in Teec Noc Pos, Arizona, has their team name as the “Redskins.”
    Teec Noc Pos is 96.5% Native American, according to the latest census, and is Apache County (72.9% Native American).

  • Jenson

    This was a great article! I never understood why people had such issues with native american logos in sports. I loved the old Illinois Illini logo that they had before the NCAA banned it. I like this Braves logo, and I don’t see a problem with it. The Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins both have logos similar. But anyways this was a great article and I loved the humor with the other logos at the bottom of the article.

  • Textilemonster

    I can see both sides here. If someone finds something offensive, they find it offensive; you can’t really just “tell them” that it’s ‘not’ offensive, as that’s subjective.

    On the other hand… I mean, there are some super Evangelical Christians and the like out there who find team names like “Devils” REALLY offensive [for different reasons, of course, but... being offended is being offended]…

  • Chris

    By the way, great article JR.

    I have no problem with the hat. When I see the logo, I think 70s/80s Braves baseball. I think Hank Aaron.

    I don’t come to the conclusion that Native Americans are laughing hysterically all the time for no reason. The logo is what it is…a logo. Not a history textbook.

  • Disappointed

    Native American logos in sports are racist. Deal with it.
    Black face is racist. Deal with it.
    Racism is alive and thriving in America and articles like this support it. Accept it. If you want freedom and equality for all people – fight it.

    JR Francis, your response, while good intentioned, completely side steps the point of your article and says almost nothing. From one white dude to another:
    YOU NEED TO STOP TELLING OTHER PEOPLE HOW TO FEEL ABOUT RACISM.

    That is all.

    • http://Diamond-Uniforms.com Jay Jackson

      Said by someone who is so set in his beliefs, he puts them right out there without even attaching his name to them.

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

        A proponent of an idea does not have to be identified for it to be relevant or accurate. See Benjamin Franklin and his many pseudonyms: Silence Dogood, Richard Saunders, Anthony Afterwit, Polly Baker, Alice Addertongue, etc.

        I don’t think anyone would argue that his ideas were worthless because he didn’t use his name.

  • chakfu

    If this had been a message board post, it would have been laughed at as tired arguments that have been rehashed over and over again. The “Notre Dame is also offensive” argument is usually as well received as “Jazz, Hornets, and Bobcats should trade names!”

    So how did this get on the front page?

  • This logo is offensive.

    Oh come on. Mohawk, feather, earring? We don’t understand how this is offensive because we’re all white.

    • Chris

      So Native Americans didn’t have mohawks, earrings, and feathers?

      I guess the Pirates should have a logo of a guy in a business suit because pirates with earrings and bandannas are really, really, really stereotypical and offensive.

      • Stephanie

        There are SEVERAL different Native groups in the United States, and I can tell you right now, that this image is not how a Native person would have traditionally looked in my culture. These kinds of comments only highlight one of the problems at hand. Many people assume that all Native peoples looked, acted, and dressed the same, which isn’t true at all. There is a huge amount of diversity in the Native community which continues to go unrecognized because of these types of assumptions and stereotyped images.

        • Chris

          The Atlanta Braves aren’t trying to represent or encompass ALL Native Americans with this particular logo. Let’s be realistic. The point is SOME Native Americans had mohawks (a word that comes from the tribe), earrings, and feathers. History has shown this to be true. Sure, not all Native Americans dressed this way, and there are hundreds of tribes that had their own culture and dress. But that’s not really the point of this logo, is it…?

          • steph.tripp@yahoo.com

            Sure, maybe some Natives did have a similar image, but no one is making the distinction. This image is what most people think of when they think about Natives, either this or a man in a headdress. This image only works to reinforce the already widespread ideas of what a Native person looks like.

          • Chris

            Steph, you said “This image is what most people think of when they think about Natives, either this or a man in a headdress.” Please, link the study that found this theory to be true. If you don’t have a study to link to, then you’re just stereotyping people in your own right. Breaking News: A lot of people actually don’t visualize Native Americans the same way this logo is depicted. True story. Ask your friends.

          • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

            I am reminded of that scene from “Clueless” where Cher keeps calling her El Salvadorean housekeeper a Mexican and her step brother is all “You get upset if someone thinks you live below Sunset.”

            Not a perfect example, I know, but the point is that just because we in the US, as a culture, lump all Native peoples together as “Indians” or “Native Americans” does not mean that Native cultures and people are homogenous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.logan.3785 Josh Logan

    Hard to get either Chris or JR to respond to anyone counter points on their site but they seem to enjoy the like minded responses, so I will try here. Below is my response to the article posted above.

    JR Francis, I hope you really do continue to read these responses as you have said otherwise you would never be able to see anyone else perspective. Although from your wording I regretfully think you are firm in your position no matter what. I guess we can get right to it. I disagree with you on several points.

    Lets start with your comparisons:
    Fighting Irish, this mascot was made by the people it represents. No Native mascots were made by the people they represent. FSU has the permission and guidance to use the Seminoles as their mascot, no other teams who have native mascots have done this. This also plays into the honoring someone bit; to ask is to honor to continue after being told is does not honor is to dishonor.

    Aztecs and Trojans I will lump together. These represents groups of people who are no longer around to let us know if they are displeased with their visage being used in such a manner. Same can be said about teams such as the Vikings as well. I assure you Natives are still around (as you may have noticed).

    Mountaineers, first off this is not an ethnicity nor are cowboys. Bad comparison here plain and simple, being an ethnicity or race is not comparable to a lifestyle or job. Nothing really more to write bout this one.

    Lets expand the native mascots to something like the “hispanos” or the “africanos” and see how that flies. Lets just skip to the end of that actually, it would be pretty evident that is not right. Both of those groups having larger numbers in the US and having more pull affects how society reacts as many people know people of these groups, not so much of natives. None of the comparisons you give lend any weight to your position, they are excuses and poor ones at that.

    So now we are at numbers, you asked a native who holds an important position and they had an opinion that you seemed to agree with. But wait you back this with a small sample poll of natives and their feelings on the subject as well. Are you insinuating that the number of people who disagree or agree with a subject has any bearing on the validity of the issue or idea, or that one person you asked who holds a position of authority has the same affect? Simply put that is not correct (fallacies of appeal to authority and ad populum), it is best to critically look at ideas based on their own merit and not whether they are popular or not.

    In the beginning of your article you used a similar approach noting the item is everywhere and popular (Fatheads etc.). The popularity of ideas and things change over time, these methods do not tell us if something is right or not.

    When you revisit this idea again as you said you would I hope you do a little more research. I know you said you did but you hit some pitfalls that have been addressed in the many scholarly articles on the subject of native mascots. Also you state you will not address anyone who just name calls or states you are an idiot however I ask you do the same; your closing line is a quote from ole Bill and your use of it insinuates anyone who holds the position you disagree with on this subject is an idiot.

    To anyone who feels like responding to me, please make sure your point has not already been addressed in any of my above points.

  • Tabatha Tavares

    Why should there be an uproar, when you already stated that Natives don’t care about this cap? It’s not a big surprise to see a white person defending racism. I can tell you though, as an Oglala Lakota, the cap is not only racist, it is offensive to me. I can’t wait until it is done away with, and it will be. In time.

    • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

      My favorite part is when he intimated that people who identified their tribal affiliation were racist for doing so since usually no one bothers to do that on this site because everyone here just loves sports without regard to race or creed.

      Conveniently, of course, forgetting that one of the underpinnings of the whole ‘this is not racist’ argument is that he knows a Native guy who isn’t offended and that Natives aren’t offended. But how dare Native people get on this blog and disagree while identifying themselves as Native.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      What exactly about the logo offends you?

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T
        • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

          Ya’ll should be able to just tell me. I’m not interested in visiting another website and doing research on something that doesn’t mean much to me. If this logo is seriously offensive to you then you should be able to explain to me what about it is offensive in your own words!

  • Tabatha Tavares

    By the way, why not use a white man as your logo? Doesn’t a white man signify strength, power, and bravery as well? Or do you need to keep stealing the imagery of a Native, because you feel entitled to it? It makes you powerful or brave? It just makes you an ignorant racist. That is all.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      I can feel your seething hatred from my computer screen hit my pale white face ! WOW!!

  • Tabatha Tavares

    It is only a matter of time that these racist logos will be banned. As an Oglala Lakota woman I guarantee you I will never back down and shut up about this. It has nothing to do with being PC, it has to do with racism and stereotyping. I cannot wait until the day comes where this ugly racist logo will no longer be allowed, and I promise you, it will be. Leave to a racist white person to tell natives how THEY should feel, right? Why don’t you set aside your self entitled attitude and start listening/reading to what Natives ARE telling you and how WE feel.

    • Chris

      Should I listen to the 91% of the Natives who don’t mind the imagery, or the 9% who do mind? Does 9% of a sample constitute a majority? Should we completely pander to 9% and ignore the 91% now? How does that work??

      • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

        Nice try, Chris. There are major problems with that study which you can read about here: http://nativeappropriations.com/2012/12/dear-defender-of-new-atlanta-braves-cap.html

        Or, let me quote for you: “But I’m stoked that one of your other friends brought up the infamous Sports Illustrated poll that shows that 80% of Native Americans support Indian mascots. A poll from 2002. Here are 20 other things that were popular in 2002, and I don’t think you’d care to argue their relevance today. Though, who knows, maybe you are rockin’ your CD’s on your walkman right now while fearing a boyband anthrax attack. There are also a million other things wrong with that poll, including the fact that they won’t release their polling sample or how they determined who to interview. Read this article to hear all the ways that poll is ridiculous and shouldn’t be used in an argument a decade later. A decade later.”

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      @Tabatha Tavares: So when or if these kind of logos are banned what then? Is your life complete? Can you die with a smile on your face? If these logos and mascots are done away with do you really think racism is done away with to or is it just a chipping away toward some “Great Society” kind of theology. Some people cheer for the Redskins football team and the Indians baseball team, does that make them racist or do they just enjoy the team they grew up watching? I’m really not trying to be a smart ass but I really do wonder what the motivation is and where you want it to go. If it’s simply ONLY a matter of being offended then get some thick skin because life is full of offenses and they don’t even have to be race related. I would rather someone make fun of something about myself that I can’t help, like my skin color, than some embarrasing character flaw that I should change, but that’s just me. If someone wanted to start a team called the “Whiteskins” or the “Pale Faces”, fine! I can roll with it, and it wouldn’t effect my life one way or the other, hell I might even cheer for them. I’m sure some white people would be thin skinned enough to be offended. But would other races such as the Native and African Americans run to the defense of the white people who are offended by that “racist” name? Maybe some would. Would you? If not then that’s hypocrisy and a double standard.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      I think you feel pretty pissed about it. If text were audible it would scream!

  • Danny

    Oh, great. A pasty white guy says a racist logo isn’t racist. I guess all is well with the world now.

    BTW, what a senseless comparison to the Fighting Irish – the difference there is that a huge portion (if not the majority) of Fighting Irish fans are… Irish and Catholic. That’s much more acceptable because it’s a huge amount of fans rooting for the apparently-offensive-to-some Fighting Irish mascot. The Fighting Irish logo was PURCHASED and is ENDORSED by IRISH CATHOLICS.

    The fighting Irish logo is the equivalent of a white guy making a joke about white guys to an audience full of white guys. The Braves logo is the equivalent of a white guy making a joke about a minority in an audience where there are few or no minorities.

    If you don’t get it by now, don’t bother. You’re lost.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      @Danny: “Pasty”?, yeah your not racist are you! It’s oxymoron to combat racism with more racism just FYI!!!

  • ingmar66

    Maybe we should stop using (both human and animal) mascots and team names and turn to totally neutral soccer-style heraldic images with stripes, monograms and balls.
    No, that would be extremely boring indeed. But getting rid of mascots, names and symbols that have not been endorsed by the people who are being depicted is the way to go, This means the FSU Seminoles and the ND Fighting Irish (of which I am a huge fan) can stay, as far as I understand from these comments, and all the other ones should ask for the broadest possible permission from those concerned first. If they nix it, replace it. As for the Atlanta Braves, keep the A (both the capital and the ’60/’70′s underscore) and the beautiful Braves script, skip the tomahawks and the laughing warrior and all other possible Native American imagery. Look what the Golden State Warriors of the NBA did: disconnecting the team name from any ethnic group and still come up with a distinctive style and identity (be it not entirely to my taste, but that is beside the point). A very laudable effort.
    In the same vein: everybody can be a brave, let the Atlanta brass live up to their team’s nickname and abolish the apparently offensive symbols and still retain their historic identity with the other logos. As for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and others: they should seriously reconsidder their brand names and/or images. My two cents: Cleveland Spiders, Washington Warriors (take a neutral logo, keep the beautiful team colours), Kansas City Arrows. Arrows? Yes, using a bow and arrows has been part of all nations and people at some point in time.

    • aZebra

      I agree with you on the Redskins. I am 3/4 indian and I don’t like Washigton. However, I LOVE the Indians. I am greatly honored to have a baseball team named after my nationality and I think very little people have a problem with “Chiefs”

  • Aaron

    Here’s a silly question…

    Why wasn’t the NFL team called the Warriors to begin with if they knew Redskins could be potentially offensive? As far as the tomahawk goes, i’d have to believe it would be less offensive than a tribe logo. I myself don’t find either offensive. If anything, it’s a great way to honour the tribal community. Some NCAA teams have given into the PC nonsense. The only thing I understand out of all this is Ole Miss banning the confederate flags from all their games for obvious reasons.

    • ingmar66

      Don’t forget the old SJU Redmen logo, which was an awful caricature of a Native warrior. Red Storm may sound tacky and the logos are crap (apart from the classic StJ monogram), but it’s a good thing they changed their nickname.

  • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

    I couldn’t agree more with your article. It was well written with common sense.

  • http://abuseinterrupted.wordpress.com Hayden T

    You know, I think what frustrates me most about this conversation is how recalcitrant you are in your opinion that this is not racist. People, particularly Native people, have been identifying planks of your argument that are wrong and instead of taking a moment to accept that, you just retreat to the next argument…and so the cycle continues. I don’t think anyone here believes that they will change your mind – simply because you are using ‘logic’ to justify a belief instead of using logic to create a belief – but hopefully anyone reading this conversation will be more aware of how our culture continues to appropriate from Native cultures without regard or respect, particularly in sports. Sports has a long history of racism and Tradition! shouldn’t be used to justify it, PC! shouldn’t be used to marginalize it, I know a Native! shouldn’t be used to negate it. The Florida State Seminoles are the only team that I am aware of that are using a Native mascot with dignity and respect. Part of that has to do with, I think, (1) the fact that their mascot is related to a real person of a specific tribe and not a generalized rendering of a ‘native’, among other things; (2) FSU worked with their local tribe, though not all Seminole tribes agree with this usage.

    • http://Sportslogos.net Seth Jones

      I suppose this is what is great about America. You can have an opinion and state it publicly as can I and we can and do disagree. Another great thing is that sports teams can choose what their mascot can be or remain. If the logo/mascot is deemed offensive enough people will eventually drop support of the team, the team will lose money/endorsments and will be forced to change that way. That is the only proper way against an organization’s free will to ‘force’ them to change because these organization with these ‘questionable logos/mascots have a right and freedom to use them under the laws of this nation. Over the years as the debate about this topic has emerged I have read people say that they wish the government would force them to change their name or logo. The Redskins and the Indians are the predominate ones that are talked about. I would only warn to be careful what you wish for because once that freedom of choice is stripped by the government then certainly individual freedoms have been stripped from our lives.

  • http://PanthersHockey.deviantART.com FJOJR

    New Era has been selling hats with this logo for years. The Marlins current logo is more offensive than this Braves one.

    • The Granite Flower

      New Era is laughing all the way to the bank. Does anyone really think they care whether a small ethnic minority and its self-styled supporters like their Braves hat or not? I don’t believe so. They make their money off sales of Yankees and Red Sox merch, which many people will buy. As far as their concerned, teams like the Braves (and to a greater extent) Royals, Padres, Rockies etc. are just “loss-leaders” that get the company brand out there. Somewhere someone sees a New Era Astros hat on someone’s head and thinks “I’ve got to get me one of them there hats for my Braves pronto!” They like the look of the hat (regardless of logo) and then go get one for themselves. And New Era laughs all the way to the bank not caring one whit about the worries of anyone. Also, how many of the self-styled Native American activists on this comment board would be willing to take a look at their 401(k) plans and divest your interests in any and all companies that do harm or otherwise abuse minority ethnic groups? You may be surprised who does what to whom that transcends the abusive power of a hat logo. We won’t do that, however, because it’s messy, complicated and could cost us $. We prefer clear “I’m right, you’re wrong” topics such as a hat logo’s meaning that require limited action but make us all feel good for “fighting for social justice.” Meanwhile, we speak more clearly with our stocks that support the denigration of different ethnic minorities worldwide.

      • The Granite Flower

        Should read “as far as they’re concerned.” The Granite Flower hates bad grammar. There’s another error in there too, but it’s too benign to get flustered over. Happy New Year!

  • The Granite Flower

    As a gangly white male, I have always found this extremely offensive:

    http://www.kegworks.com/mens-bathroom-door-sign-1437-p21792

    • Nate Melvin

      I agree. I shall start a petition to get this off all bathroom doors.

  • Nate Melvin

    Everyone needs to relax over this article. It’s a sports team. Get over it! It’s doing no harm. The only people that are doing this are, as stated many times before, or Civil Rights groups, that do nothing for anyone. I love the FSU Seminoles and I don’t see anybody crying over their logo. Stop looking for attention and get over it.

  • Max

    It’s not perfect, obviously. Don’t respond to this, JR.

  • Dale

    Well it is my day off and I stumbled onto the Braves logo article and the myriad of replies, some of them voluminous.
    My first thought is there is a host of responders with a lot of time on the hands. I guess that if statistics tell us that 14% of Americans are unemployed or not looking for work that can be expected (or if you are a “college professor” working two days a week);

    My second observation is the amount of venom coming out of the mouths of several of the responders. I have to think they have other hangups.

    My final thought is that Chris Creamer probably voted for Obama. You would think there would be no correlation between what a person spouts on, say, saving the whales or politically correct speech or pro-abortion views and his politics but there usually is and it is part of the “group think” views as espoused by the “college professor” and today’s media and it is helpful to keep that in mind.

    • Chris Creamer

      LOL @ Dale