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BRAVES AMONG TEAMS WORKING WITH NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVISTS
Published November 17, 1999
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" examined the "Native American sports experience," with ESPN's Greg Garber reporting on the controversial use of Native American references for sports teams, logos and mascots. Garber: "No name inflames Natives more than the Washington Redskins." American Indian Rights Advocate Suzan Shown Hario: "It is the equivalent of the worst thing that any other person, any other group, can be called." The team "declined to discuss the matter," but Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder "has said he will not change the name." The Indians "claim they took their name ... to honor the first full-blooded Native American to play in [MLB]," Louis Sockalexis. But Ithaca College Professor Ellen Staurowsky says that the Indians "were actually named by sportswriters, with no apparent intent to honor Sockalexis." Staurowsky: "It disappoints me that the club is willing to miseducate the American public about the story." Indians officials "refused to be interviewed on the subject." Garber reported that "some teams" have made changes. While Braves officials "refused to speak" on camera, they are "having ongoing discussions with activists." The team "has no plans to change" the name, but activists say the Braves have pledged "more than" $1M "for a campaign to educate the public about Native American culture" ("Outside The Lines," 11/16).