SBD/17/Sports Society

BRAVES AMONG TEAMS WORKING WITH NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVISTS

          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).   

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