How Sports plays a part in oppression.

Here in America a person may not be a sports fan but they probably know the names of a few teams.  Professional sports is a huge money maker and has millions of fans.  One of the big rivalries in football is the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.  My husband happens to be a huge Washington Redskins fan.  I asked him about thier mascot and what he thought it.  He simply stated “yeah there has been talk for a long time about it but nothing has ever been done.”  Now my husband is pretty conscious about social justice.  The problem here is the same problem that several Americans have today.  Oppression has become so intertwined into our society that we do not even see it any more.  We love football.  We have been watching this team for our entire lives.  We do not even think about what the mascot or name means.  Our media and society have allowed such discriminating symbols to be apart of our culture for so long that we don’t even see the wrong in the symbols any more.  The issue of the Redskins name has been brought up several times during the years.  The reason that the organziation will not change it is because it will cost several millions of dollars to change it.  It is a major name in football and it is ingrained in football history.  Now keep in mind that there used to be a professional basketball team called the Washington Bullets.  They had to change thier name because thier mascots symbolized violence.  That team is now called the Washington Wizards.  It is amazing that no matter what the cost that team was made to change thier name because of what thier mascot symbolized but the Redskins do not have to change thier name.  We have to ask ourselves.  Do we not care enough about the Native American population to change a mascot?  We are putting a price on thier name if we say that we refuse to change a name because it will cost too much money.   There is a college team called the Florida State Seminoles.  This team has also had this mascot for several years.  They continue to have the mascot.  They talked to the Seminole tribe and asked permission to use the mascot.  The tribed agreed with stipulations.  The man that is the mascot has to come from Seminole heritage.  They approve the attired that he wears and it has to be true Seminole attire.  The tribe wanted people to learn more about and understand thier culture.  My husband stated that the pre-game show is the most amazing thing that he has ever seen.  The mascot comes out on a horse and rides around and does the same ceremony every time.  There is a lot to be said for the Florida State University and the Seminole Tribe.  They came together and discussed what each of them wanted.  At the end, they worked together and both parties were able to achieve what they wanted from the agreement.   Now that is social justice.  If only other sports teams could learn from them.

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