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Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Guardians


Bill0813

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15 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

You are correct that individual people will always have individual opinions, especially in such a diverse population.

 

My sister in law is Shoshone, and not even everyone in her family agrees 100% on this issue.  Or at least they don't all feel as strongly about it as some do.

 

That's why consensus is important, and one way Native Americans have reached that consensus is through their representatives in the NCAI.  If there's another way to evaluate that consensus, even a better way, I would honestly be interested in hearing it.  Because personal anecdotes and internet polls aren't up to the task.

 

I don't know that there is a better way, so until/unless something better does come along, the NCAI is as good a consensus as [the rest of us] will get.

 

I read through their content, and although this may be splitting hairs, their biggest bone to pick appears to be the mascots themselves.  I didn't see anything that suggested certain names were offensive (though we all know certain ones are, and have been for a while, at high school, state, and pro levels, even if not specifically listed in that source.) To their point, I totally get how mascots seem harmful and derogatory--I need look no further than the history of blackface and how that makes me feel to see that. (That by the way is almost a direct equivalent, from where I sit, to what most if not all Natives feel about not just the Wahoo caricature but about non-Natives posing and/or cosplaying as such not to mention trying to appropriate their culture; disrespectful doesn't even begin to cover it.)

 

That said, I don't really see a big issue (yet), nor have I yet to hear or read a specific issue (again, yet), with the KC Chiefs' name or arrowhead logo. Now, one could argue that one could trace the origins of that nickname back to the man for whom [it's said] the team was named for, and his tendency to play Native dress-up, and perhaps that could catalyze a call for change, and if the NCAI specifically mentions or references that, then yes, it'll need to be dealt with. But of the pro sports teams left with even tangential Native-themed nicknames, that one, at least to me, is the least offensive of the bunch.  (But if course, it's their opinions that matter, not mine.)

 

I can see folk going after the Atlanta Braves organization next, because of the tomahawk (and the tomahawk chop if they're still doing it). I've already got kind of a neat concept in mind for a rebrand for them; maybe I'll flesh it out some day in the future?? 😃

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1 hour ago, tBBP said:

1) I know @infrared41 is of Native ancestry; have we any other members of this site that also of Native ancestry?

 

2.) How many people in here have actually spent time walking and talking amongst indigenous peoples?

 

I say that because it's easy to read and repeat what others say about things; it's a little different when you hear things straight from the source.

 

Actually talking with an Indigenous Person is a good idea for more than a few people on these here boards.

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56 minutes ago, tBBP said:

I don't know that there is a better way, so until/unless something better does come along, the NCAI is as good a consensus as [the rest of us] will get.

 

I read through their content, and although this may be splitting hairs, their biggest bone to pick appears to be the mascots themselves.  I didn't see anything that suggested certain names were offensive (though we all know certain ones are, and have been for a while, at high school, state, and pro levels, even if not specifically listed in that source.) To their point, I totally get how mascots seem harmful and derogatory--I need look no further than the history of blackface and how that makes me feel to see that. 

 

I think the confusion lies in the terminology they use.  They use the word "mascot" to mean nickname, not just a costumed human or a logo.   And in fairness, I see a lot of that from the press, as well.  It's even in the subhead of the Times coverage of the "Guardians" release.

 

If you read through their material, it's pretty clear that they are opposed to any use of Native American names, mascots and logos. 

 

56 minutes ago, tBBP said:

That said, I don't really see a big issue (yet), nor have I yet to hear or read a specific issue (again, yet), with the KC Chiefs' name or arrowhead logo. Now, one could argue that one could trace the origins of that nickname back to the man for whom [it's said] the team was named for, and his tendency to play Native dress-up, and perhaps that could catalyze a call for change, and if the NCAI specifically mentions or references that, then yes, it'll need to be dealt with. But of the pro sports teams left with even tangential Native-themed nicknames, that one, at least to me, is the least offensive of the bunch.  (But if course, it's their opinions that matter, not mine.)

 

Their position is clear when you look at the data they record on schools - among the names they are tracking we find  "Braves" and "Chiefs".  Not logos, but the names themselves are considered harmful.

 

56 minutes ago, tBBP said:

I can see folk going after the Atlanta Braves organization next, because of the tomahawk (and the tomahawk chop if they're still doing it). I've already got kind of a neat concept in mind for a rebrand for them; maybe I'll flesh it out some day in the future?? 😃

 

That would be good, because Atlanta's time is undoubtedly coming.  This is what the NCAI had to say in 2013:

 

"Among the remaining professional teams with harmful mascots, actions by the MLB’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians to subtly alter logos and team branding in an attempt to mitigate harm while keeping established brand identity, indicates that management in these businesses understand the negative social impact of their brands.

 

In 1986, the Atlanta Braves “retired Chief Noc-A-Homa, a mascot who actually had a teepee in the bleachers of Fulton County Stadium and performed a war dance when a home team player hit a home run.” 15 However, these actions also indicate an unwillingness to completely disavow their business from their brands for financial reasons."

 

"Completely disavow" has been the goal all along.   Since 1968 in the organization's case, and for some activists before even then.

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2 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

Actually talking with an Indigenous Person is a good idea for more than a few people on these here boards.

 

Absolutely.  Whose voice could possibly matter more in this conversation?

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55 minutes ago, tBBP said:

 

I don't know that there is a better way, so until/unless something better does come along, the NCAI is as good a consensus as [the rest of us] will get.

 

I read through their content, and although this may be splitting hairs, their biggest bone to pick appears to be the mascots themselves.  I didn't see anything that suggested certain names were offensive (though we all know certain ones are, and have been for a while, at high school, state, and pro levels, even if not specifically listed in that source.) To their point, I totally get how mascots seem harmful and derogatory--I need look no further than the history of blackface and how that makes me feel to see that. (That by the way is almost a direct equivalent, from where I sit, to what most if not all Natives feel about not just the Wahoo caricature but about non-Natives posing and/or cosplaying as such not to mention trying to appropriate their culture; disrespectful doesn't even begin to cover it.)

 

That said, I don't really see a big issue (yet), nor have I yet to hear or read a specific issue (again, yet), with the KC Chiefs' name or arrowhead logo. Now, one could argue that one could trace the origins of that nickname back to the man for whom [it's said] the team was named for, and his tendency to play Native dress-up, and perhaps that could catalyze a call for change, and if the NCAI specifically mentions or references that, then yes, it'll need to be dealt with. But of the pro sports teams left with even tangential Native-themed nicknames, that one, at least to me, is the least offensive of the bunch.  (But if course, it's their opinions that matter, not mine.)

 

I can see folk going after the Atlanta Braves organization next, because of the tomahawk (and the tomahawk chop if they're still doing it). I've already got kind of a neat concept in mind for a rebrand for them; maybe I'll flesh it out some day in the future?? 😃


*Maybe* there’s a distinction to be made between mascots and nicknames, but I think the general consensus is that they’re intrinsically linked, at least on some level. I mean, the Indians had already dropped their problematic imagery and they were left with a shell of an identity, one that fans found very generic and had little potential for growth and engagement (and of course, as pointed out above, was no more than a bandage move to try and salvage the equity in a problematic brand). It’s the same thing UNLV is going through right now, not wanting to change the name “Rebels” while also finding it too much of a lightning rod to use in any official capacity. They have a lame duck mascot and name because it took them too long to figure out, hey, maybe this is the wrong imagery to be using here.

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Seems like most people use the terms "mascot" and "nickname" interchangeably.

 

Quote

With Guardians, Cleveland Steps Away From an Offensive Name

After years of pressure, and amid a growing trend away from names that reference Indigenous people, the team will drop its “Indians” mascot, which it used for more than 100 years.

 

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47 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Absolutely.  Whose voice could possibly matter more in this conversation?

 

Well, in my experience, there are times when I get a different impression. No offense to anyone, but some of the "white-knighting" on behalf of Indigenous Peoples around here can be every bit as cringe inducing as the "what about the Fighting Irish" nonsense.  To be fair, I get that people mean well, but it can get a little silly and over the top.

 

Just my take on the matter. 😎

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22 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

Well, in my experience, there are times when I get a different impression. No offense to anyone, but some of the "white-knighting" on behalf of Indigenous Peoples around here can be every bit as cringe inducing as the "what about the Fighting Irish" nonsense.  To be fair, I get that people mean well, but it can get a little silly and over the top.

 

Just my take on the matter. 😎

 

I'm sorry you have felt that way.   Never the intent.

 

I have never pretended to speak for my Native family members.  Only quote the words of their representatives.

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5 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

They’ve toned the chop down, but it might be a good time to do the oft-suggested firemen switch.

Why is it always firemen? 

 

Look, this is simple. The Chiefs' name is very generic. It's almost universal in human society. If you want to play the "race and agency" card most European ethnicities had leaders whose titles translates as "Chief."

And that's before we even get into how widespread it is in a non-anthropological sense. It's not even just police and fire. "Chief" has just come to mean "boss" in a lot of places, either formally or informally. 

 

So this need to insist that they have to pivot from Natives to something specific just doesn't make sense to me. Just embrace "Chief" as meaning "boss" or "guy in charge." Put the KC on the helmet without a framing device. 

 

Problem solved. 

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7 minutes ago, IceCap said:

Why is it always firemen? 

 

Look, this is simple. The Chiefs' name is very generic. It's almost universal in human society. If you want to play the "race and agency" card most European ethnicities had leaders whose titles translates as "Chief."

And that's before we even get into how widespread it is in a non-anthropological sense. It's not even just police and fire. "Chief" has just come to mean "boss" in a lot of places, either formally or informally. 

 

So this need to insist that they have to pivot from Natives to something specific just doesn't make sense to me. Just embrace "Chief" as meaning "boss" or "guy in charge." Put the KC on the helmet without a framing device. 

 

Problem solved. 

I’d even say lean into the whole Kansas City being the “BBQ capital of the world” and utilize a flame logo of some sort.

 

I’m sure Guy Fieri isn’t too busy these days.

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27 minutes ago, IceCap said:

Why is it always firemen? 

 

Look, this is simple. The Chiefs' name is very generic. It's almost universal in human society. If you want to play the "race and agency" card most European ethnicities had leaders whose titles translates as "Chief."

And that's before we even get into how widespread it is in a non-anthropological sense. It's not even just police and fire. "Chief" has just come to mean "boss" in a lot of places, either formally or informally. 

 

So this need to insist that they have to pivot from Natives to something specific just doesn't make sense to me. Just embrace "Chief" as meaning "boss" or "guy in charge." Put the KC on the helmet without a framing device. 

 

Problem solved. 

To further this... the etymology of "chief" is such... 

 

From Middle English "chef," borrowed from Old French "chief" (“leader”), from Vulgar Latin "capus" (from which also "captain," "chieftain"), from Latin caput (“head”), from Proto-Indo-European. "kauput" ("head"). 

 

https://www.etymonline.com/word/chief

 

The first people to be described as "chiefs" in recorded history, using the etymological forbearer of the modern word, were the leaders of European tribal societies that lived on the outskirts of Roman territory.  The most famous would be Arminius, who was described as the "Caput" ("Chief") of the Germanic Cherusci tribe and Vercingetorix, Caput of the Gaul Arverni tribe. 

 

I could see how the name "Chief" would be offensive if it came from an Indigenous American language that was bastardized by European colonists, but it's not. It's a word from Europe that was used by white people to describe other white people for thousands of years before a European ever set foot in the Americas. 

 

So yeah. I'll maintain that the name "Chiefs" very much isn't a problem. I've got linguistics, anthropology, history, and the Classics on my side there. 

 

Now what I can agree with is that using the name "Chiefs" in conjunction with the arrow head is very much implying a Native connection. And that should be dealt with if Native communities on the whole would rather they not play into these themes. 

 

Given the above explanation of the name, however, I would find a rename to be going too far. Keep the KC monogram and lose the arrowhead, and the connections to Native identity and iconography are no more. 

It's probably the easiest case out there to fix. 

 

 

13 minutes ago, DNAsports said:

I’d even say lean into the whole Kansas City being the “BBQ capital of the world” and utilize a flame logo of some sort.

 

I’m sure Guy Fieri isn’t too busy these days.

A KC in a flame? Sounds neat. And unique. I don't think any NFL team is using fire iconography so they would be unique playing up the "Chiefs of BBQ" bit. 

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4 hours ago, spartacat_12 said:

Except Native Americans aren't some politically homogenous single-entity. They are a group with diverse political & cultural ideals just like the rest of society.

 

It seems like you find a diversity of opinion among laypeople, with some people disliking it and others not minding or even embracing it, while everyone at the American Institute For Keeping Homework Kids Employed is in lockstep that the teams are bad. 

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