It’s always been hard for me to really find a point of opinion when it comes to Native American names and image usage in sports. With the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and a ton more college teams using such names and logos, I want to feel that maybe we should put an end to it.
But then there are so many times when the Native Americans themselves say that it’s OK. For example, the Florida Seminoles have gained approval from the tribe themselves, so if they’re not offended, why should I be?
This comes on to this week’s latest buzz about the new batting practice cap for the Atlanta Braves, which revives a throwback logo and people are starting to talk again about it being racist. And to me, I think it does go along those lines. However, after reading this opinion piece, I’m starting to think a little different.
So you tell me, is this racist? Or maybe the better question is whether or not this is an issue for me.
When it comes to race issues not only in sports but everywhere else, I have to take a step back because I don’t want to try to represent a race that I am not even a part of. I can’t try to speak for people whom I have no association with. Most times, I try to wonder if what I am viewing is different from what the others are viewing.
In this situation, I start to wonder what if this was an image of a Chinese man. Instead of a Native American, we’d have an image of a Chinese man. Would I be offended? And my answer is still I don’t know. I would have to wonder if it is a negative connotation or not. After all, I am proud of being Chinese and I am sure that having an image of my ancestor displayed in public would make me proud. Then again, if the image makes me look bad, then I am against it.
So that goes back to the article I linked. It’s all about how you view it. Is that image a “screaming savage” as some put it? Does that image portray the Native Americans negatively? Or does it portray a happy one that is brave beyond measure?
And as long as we have multiple opinions, I can’t just sit here and choose sides. It’s just too hard with something like this. At least for me, I feel that the only opinion that matters are the Native Americans themselves and if they are OK with it, then I have no problem with it. It’s not my battle to fight. My final opinion is that I don’t have one — I see it from both sides.