George Hale Asks “What’s in a Name?”

Updated 7 months ago

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

PLENTY IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS.

GEORGE HALE’S HERE TO PLAY THE NAME GAME…

A LONG TIME BEFORE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS OWNER DONALD STERLING COMMITTED HARI KARI WITH HIS COMMENTS ABOUT AFRICAN-AMERICAN BASKETBALL PLAYERS THERE WAS PLENTY OF HEAT ON HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND PROFESSIONAL TEAMS TO CHANGE MASCOTS AND NAMES.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS BUT IN FACT THEY ARE JUST THE FACE OF THE ISSUE.

THERE ARE MANY TEAMS WITH LONG STANDING NAMES USING NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE.

WE KNOW ITS GOING TO BE MESSY BECAUSE CONGRESS WANTS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE BATTLE OVER NAMES.

FIFTY U-S SENATORS HAVE SIGNED A LETTER ASKING THE REDSKINS TO BECOME SOMETHING ELSE.

BOTH THE N-F-L AND THE OWNER DANIEL SNYDER, WHILE GIVING SOME LIP SERVICE, HAVE PRETTY MUCH DUG THEIR HEELS IN AND ARE REFUSING.

THE N-B-A SITUATION IS DIFFERENT IN THE SENSE THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE PLAYERS ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN.

NO SUCH STATISTIC APPLYS TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE WHERE FEW NATIVE AMERICANS ARE INVOLVED.

THE SITUATION IS CONFUSING BECAUSE NOT ALL OF THE INDIANS GROUP POLLED AGREE THAT THE NAMES SHOULD BE CHANGED.

TAKE FOR INSTANCE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY.

PERHAPS THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS WHEN A STUDENT, DRESSED AS THE FAMOUS SEMINOLE LEADER OSCEOLA, COMES CHARGING ONTO THE FIELD ON HIS HORSE RENEGADE AND SINKS A FLAMING SPEAR AT MID-FIELD.

HOW DO THE F-S-U PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH IT.

THEY HAVE PERMISSION OF THE SEMINOLE TRIBE OF FLORIDA AND YES THE N-C-DOUBLE-A GAVE THEM SPECIAL DISPENSATION TO KEEP DOING IT.

THE COLLEGE GOVERNING BODY APPROVED THE WHOLE SHOW, WAR PAINT, HORSE AND SPEAR WHILE BANNING ALL OTHER COLLEGES FROM USING INDIAN NAMES.

BY THE WAY THE SEMINOLES HAVE NEVER SIGNED A TREATY AND REMAIN UNCONQUERED.

MY POINT IS THAT THE BANNING OF NAMES IS HODGE PODGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS.

WE HAVE THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, ATLANTA BRAVES, CLEVELAND INDIANS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS AND CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS.

HUNDREDS OF HIGH SCHOOLS, SOME IN MAINE, HAVE INDIAN NAMES AND LOGOS.

THE REAL PROBLEM LIES IN MASCOTS AND THAT’S WHERE A STONG CASE CAN AND SHOULD BE MADE FOR CHANGE.

TYPICAL OF BAD IMAGE WAS CLEVELAND AND “CHIEF WAHOO”.

THE RED-FACED, GRINNING MASCOT IS OBVIOUSLY BAD.

THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS LOGO REMAINS CONTROVERSIAL ALTHOUGH ITS CONSIDERED POPULAR IN THE LEAGUE.

MOST EVERYONE WOULD AGREE THAT STEREOTYPING IS A BAD THING AND HUMANS SHOULD NOT BE IDENTIFIED AS MASCOTS.

BUT GETTING THERE WILL NOT BE EASY.

SOME 500 YEARS AFTER CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS HAD HIS FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH NATIVES IN THE AMERICAS WE STILL HAVE THIS ENDURING UNEASINESS BETWEEN THE RACES.

WHEN THE COWBOYS PLAY THE INDIANS IT CONJURES UP MEMORIES OF A BYGONE ERA WHEN REAL BLOODSHED OCCURRED ON THE FIELD AND NOT THE SCOREBOARD.

SO WHAT TO DO?

AS I SAID IN THE BEGINNING NOW THAT THE POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON ARE MIXED UP IN IT YOU CAN BET IT WILL BE SCREWED UP.

MY GUESS IS THAT SOME OF THIS WILL CHANGE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS.

IT WON’T COME FROM WASHINGTON OR STATE CAPITALS.

THE PRESSURE WILL COME FROM CORPORATE AMERICA WHO, FACING CONTROVERSY, WILL PULL THEIR SPONSORSHIP MONEY.

AT SOME POINT, THE WASHINGTON REDSKIN FANS, WILL BE SINGING “HAIL TO THE AMERICANS OR SOME SUCH THING.”

FRANKLY IF WE CANT COME TO A SOLUTION SOON I’M SURE P E T A WILL BE PROTESTING USING BEARS, BOBCATS, HORSES, MULES AND OTHER ANIMALS AS MASCOTS AS BEING
OFFENSIVE.

I’M MOSTLY IRISH AND I DON’T PARTICULARLY LIKE THE CELTICS HAVING A SLIGHTLY INEBRIATED LEPRECHAUN REPRESENTING ME.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.


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