Josh over at the NCAA's blog points us to this press release from the APA, which suggests that ALL sports mascots based on American Indian imagery should be retired immediately.
"The use of American Indian mascots as symbols in school and university athletic programs is particularly troubling," says APA President, Ronald F. Levant, EdD. "Schools and universities are places of learning. These mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and, too often, insulting images of American Indians. And these negative lessons are not just affecting American Indian students; they are sending the wrong message to all students."
It would help the APA's cause, I think, if they didn't talk so much as if they have been locked up in ivory-tower echo chamers for the last 25 years (and if you read the PR, you'll know what I mean), but I do think that there's a point in having the discussion as to where the line should be drawn regarding offensive mascots. I mean, clearly we don't want patently offensive mascots like the Louisiana Lynchers or Cincy Serial Killers running around, but it would be a sad world in which we have to resort to naming teams after spices (Pittsburgh Pepper), cuddly animals (Kansas City Koalas) and pleasant meteorological phenomena (Montana Clouds).
Anybody have an opinion on this?