Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports 1

Mascot Origin Myths

In this day-long symposium sports writers, scholars, authors, and representatives from sports organizations engaged in lively panel discussions on racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports.

The symposium explores the mythology and psychology of sports stereotypes and mascots, and examines the retirement of “Native American” sports references and collegiate efforts to revive them despite the NCAA’s policy against “hostile and abusive” nicknames and symbols.

In this first session Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, gives an introduction to the symposium. Following his talk, a panel explores the origins of mascots in American sports. The panelists for this session are:

Dr. Manley A. Begay, Jr., Moderator. Associate Social Scientist/Senior Lecturer, American Indian Studies Program, The University of Arizona; and Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Dr. E. Newton Jackson, Associate Provost and Professor of Sport Management, University of North Florida

Dr. C. Richard King, Co-Editor, “Team Spirits, Native Athletes in Sport and Society” and “Encyclopedia of Native Americans in Sports” and Professor and Chair, Department of Critical Gender & Race Studies, Washington State University

Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, Professor, Department of Sport Management, Goodwin School of Professional Studies, Drexel University

Ms. Linda M. Waggoner, Author, “Fire Light: The Life of Angel De Cora, Winnebago Artist” and “Playing Indian, Dreaming Indian: The Trial of William ‘Lone Star’ Dietz” (Montana: The History Magazine, Spring 2013); and lecturer, Multicultural Studies, Sonoma State University

The symposium was webcast on February 7, 2013 from the Rasmuson Theater.

7 thoughts on “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports 1

  1. Luke O'Brien

    Very interesting. What many of my fellow whites don't seem to grasp about Native Americans (but do for every other race, for the most part) is that only they can decide what is offensive towards them or not.
    Imagine if we decided as a society that whites "blacking up" is actually honouring African Americans, or if we dressed up as stereotypical Asians at Halloween – unthinkable! Not for the people who were here first though, it seems.

  2. laurence tyler

    Get your facts straight. Osceola died of malaria in a prison cell after his illegal capture by the U.S. Army and his corpse was beheaded by Dr. Weedon, his attending physician, for use in disciplining his young sons.  The head was lost in a fire in 1866.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *