Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Insert overtly offensive sports mascot name here

America walks a thin line about its political correctness. Recently, we witnessed the uproar from a redneck politician in Virginia referring to his opposition's staffer as 'macacah'. Well, all politics aside, the race card still gets played and is prevalent in sports today.

Take, for instance, the recent attempt by the NCAA to ban the nickname of the University of North Dakota -- The Fighting Sioux. The ban, though, was classified as illegal and struck down so the UND Fighting Sioux can build towards the eventual vicctory over our own University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team but the story goes deeper and has more history than this recent brush with correctness.

I went to high school in southern Minnesota. Our pathetic school's nickname was the Packers. A cute little guy wielding a meat cleaver -- harkening back to the days when men were men and made hier living slaughtering hogs and were paid respectfully for their work. Fast forward to my teen years when one of our Big 9 conference rivals faced pressure to change their nickname. The change came swiftly as the Owatonna Indians became the Owatonna Huskies.

What right, then, does the NCAA have in overseeing the nicknames of its member colleges? The one I can think of off the top of my head which is much more widely seen and known by the public is the Florida State Seminoles. It seems that unless the NCAA also made a push to ban that nickname, they are guilty of judging by a double standard.

The NCAA doesn't seem to be making a stink over other team nicknames which could be seen as racially insensitive to native Americans such as the eight colleges wwho use 'Braves' as their nickname or the seven colleges who have the nickname 'Indians'. Unless the NCAA holds these other schools to the same standrad as the University of North Dakota, then the NCAA is guilty of bias and needs to focus their strongarm power elsewhere.

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