Adidas Aims to Help Schools Change Native American Mascots

SPORTS

Adidas has announced an initiative to help high schools transition away from using Native American mascots. (Sports Illustrated)

Use our resources to check out some less-controversial mascots.

Adidas is offering to help high schools transition out of this mascot and others like it. Photograph by Keith Allison, courtesy Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Adidas is offering to help high schools transition out of this mascot and others like it.
Photograph by Keith Allison, courtesy Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Discussion Ideas

  • According to Sports Illustrated, around 2,000 schools use Native American mascots. Besides the Redskins, what are names of mascots with direct or indirect Native American associations?
    • In general:
      • Indians
      • Braves
      • Chiefs
      • Warriors
    • Specific groups:
      • Apaches
      • Aztecs
      • Blackhawks
      • Comanches
      • Seminoles
      • Sioux

 

  • Are mascots ever associated with other ethnic groups?
    • Today, rarely. The Fighting Irish and the Celtics, for instance, are associated with Irish people.
    • Historically, yes. Be ready to cringe:
      • The Wahpeton (North Dakota) Huskies were the Wops until 1989.
      • The Coachella Valley (California) Mighty Arabs kept the name but updated the mascot in 2014.
      • The Akron (Ohio) East Community Learning Center’s Dragons were the Orientals until 2010.
      • Last but not least among the most offensive team names, the Pekin (Illinois) Dragons were the Chinks until 1981.

 

  • According to Sports Illustrated, Adidas “has offered [all 2,000 schools] both financial and design resources” to change mascots. What might need to be changed?
    • uniforms and other athletic wear
    • merchandise
    • signs associated with facilities
    • banners
    • mascot costumes
    • school stationery
    • alumni and fund-raising materials

 

 

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

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