Final Thesis - Hill Native American Mascots in Professional...

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Hill Native American Mascots in Professional Sports Jasmine Hill Thesis: Professional sports teams use Native American icons such as historical players, graphic mascots, and catchy Native American terms to benefit the business of the team and ignore the Native American culture behind these franchises. When I first started putting together my paper I had no clear direction of what I wanted to prove. Originally I thought I wanted to prove that Native American mascots were not such a bad thing. After going through much research, it became clearly evident that not as many people agreed with this statement. I then began to see a large difference between high schools and colleges that received funds from state boards and professional sports teams that are run more like businesses. I decided to investigate what were the actual chances of these sports teams ever changing any aspects related to the brand of their franchise. I chose the Cleveland Indians because the name itself it not that derogatory and then the Washington Redskins to add in the comparison between the MLB and NFL. One of the major issues I had with actually writing the paper was space. I feel like I could go on for days about this issue and go into a deeper depth with each team. My final conclusions provided a recommendation for each team considering my perspective as a business major as well as the research on the history of each other two teams. In all reality, I feel that neither of these teams will ever make any adaptations until there is some national law or league based sanction that rules them to do so. No owner wants to take the time or investment to change their brand when they already have such a sturdy fan base. Summary
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Hill Growing up in the United States, images of Native Americans are shown through children’s’ books, movies, and even taught in classrooms. Even though these images may be stereotypical, there is usually some Native American approval or the images are so unrealistic it becomes comical. However, when it comes to the Native American images that are plastered all over sports stadiums, fields, uniforms, and fanfare it is a different story. Most of these images seem harmless because they are “honoring” Native Americans, but is this honor really true? One major issue with removing Native American mascots from sports teams is force versus a willingness to change. For example, “The Michigan State Board of Education passed a resolution that strongly recommended elimination of American Indian mascots, nicknames, logos…” (Johansen 143-175). In relation to high schools, state government has control over what school districts choose to do. By having an entire state being pushed towards changing offensive Native American mascots, inevitably it will lead to change. However, in states such as Ohio with no state government pull, getting a high school to change a mascot is not so simple. In 1999, the public school district of Anderson Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, was receiving pressure to
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course ATH 304 taught by Professor Lempert during the Summer '11 term at Miami University.

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Final Thesis - Hill Native American Mascots in Professional...

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