AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A mascot and team name is how schools across America identify themselves and show school pride. But recently one mascot in particular has caused controversy, and one state has gone as far as banning a team name.
High schools, colleges even professional teams are feeling the pressure. There’s a push to remove all stereotypical names and images of Native Americans as school mascots.
“There’s a lot of high school teams with just old mascots that are outdated,” says Michael Maynard of Springfield. “I think it’s a good idea, times are changing and it’s good that they’re taking the right steps to not offend people.”
California just officially banned the word “Redskins” from being used as a team name at all schools across the state. Here in western Massachusetts, 22News found 8 different high schools that have either a Native American name or image as part of their mascot. The 8 schools range from Agawam to Ware, and each school features the image of a Native American as their mascot. Some also having controversial names the Indians or the Brownies.
One western Massachusetts resident said he thinks it’s okay, and people just need to relax. “”I’m very much against political correctness so to me it doesn’t matter, because then the Irish could complain about the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Vancouver Canucks could complain”
Schools in California have until 2017 to phase out Redskins. Native American advocates are calling for the NFL’S Washington redskins to do the same.