The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 March 2005

Home of the Braves

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, having taken care of all its other problems, produced a list of thirty or so college athletic teams with Native American names, mascots, logos, whatever, and one of the schools on the list is the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, whose teams are called the Braves.

And if the school has anything to say about it, they will continue to be called the Braves. As it happens, UNC Pembroke began operations in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School, charged with training Native American schoolteachers in answer to a petition by the Lumbee tribe, and while they broadened their scope to include other academic endeavors and other tribes over time, they did not admit non-Indian students until the 1950s.

So "Braves" makes sense for UNC Pembroke, and the Lumbees like it just fine. Says Tribal Chairman Milton R. Hunt:

To us, [the logo and nickname are] a part of the university’s name, just an extension of that, and the Lumbees would consider it an insult if it were changed.

The school must respond to the NCAA by the first of May.

(Via Tongue Tied.)

Posted at 10:22 AM to Almost Yogurt

TrackBack: 5:10 AM, 11 March 2005
» NCAA: Native Americans make inferior mascots from Ravenwood's Universe
Charles Hill points out that the NCAA is trying to prevent Indians from using Indian names and likenesses in the name of political correctness. Apparently the bigots at the NCAA don't like Native Americans and hope to purge them from......[read more]

Besides, is the term "Braves" really that insulting? Not being a Native American, I really can't answer that, but it seems that aside from worrying about more pressing matters, as you note, the NCAA would be more concerned with a name like the "Redskins" or the "Redmen". Those are clearly derogatory.

(In the case of the Atlanta Braves, the name should be construed as insulting, with the whole tomahawk chop thing and the team's uniform design including cartoons of stereotypical Indian braves. Though I can't recall if the design includes the cartoons these days. Ironic when you consider that the Braves originally was a reference to patriots, when the team got its start in Boston.)

Posted by: Jon at 11:34 AM on 13 March 2005