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Lake Erie Warriors Renamed Lake Erie Eagles (probably)

Paul here, pinch-hitting for Phil this weekend.

On Wednesday afternoon I posted this tweet about the logo for the Lake Erie Warriors, a new junior hockey team slated to begin play this fall:

I didn’t say anything except “Quite a logo,” because I figured it spoke for itself. (Continue reading)

’Skins Watch: Hockey Team Sets New Standard in WTF-ness

What you see at right (and can click to enlarge) is the logo for the Lake Erie Warriors, a Pennsylvania-based team in the new National College Prospects Hockey League, which will have its inaugural season this fall. The team and the logo have existed for at least four months, but I didn’t become aware of them until yesterday, when reader Bill Stewart brought them to my attention. “I’m not generally against Native American themes, but this just seems in poor taste,” he wrote. “Can’t believe that’s what they went with.”

Neither can I.

In case you’re wondering, the logo also appears on the team’s jersey (click to enlarge): (Continue reading)

Some Thoughts on the WaPo’s ‘Redskins’ Poll

On Friday I said that at some point this week I’d be sharing my thoughts about The Washington Post’s “Redskins” poll results. Today is that day.

Before we dive in, let me remind everyone where I’ve stood on all this. While I’ve supported the movement to eliminate “Redskins” as a team name, that’s just one component of my larger concern about the use of Native American imagery in sports. “Redskins” and Chief Wahoo have been the low-hanging fruit for this movement, but I’ve also been opposed to the Braves’ tomahawk imagery, the Chiefs’ arrowhead imagery, and so on.

In addition, I’ve generally been in favor of a permission-based model. I’m fine with Florida State calling its teams the Seminoles, for example, because the Seminole tribe has given its permission for them to do so (and ditto for the Utah and the Utes, and CMU and the Chippewas). My reason for favoring the permission-based model is simple: I think Native imagery belongs to Natives and shouldn’t be used by non-Natives to sell stuff — not because the imagery is “offensive,” but because one of the first things we learn as children is that we shouldn’t use something that doesn’t belong to us.

With all of that in mind, here are some of my thoughts on the poll results. I apologize for the length — there was a lot to process here. For the sake of convenience, I’m going to occasionally use the terms “name-changers” (for people who have advocated changing the ’Skins name) and “name-keepers” (for those who’ve wanted the name retained). (Continue reading)

WaPo Poll: Most Native Americans Okay with ‘Redskins’

Big ’Skins Watch news yesterday, as The Washington Post, whose editorial board has been a longtime supporter of the “change the name” movement, rolled out the results of a new nationwide poll showing that an overwhelming majority of Native Americans have no problem with “Redskins” as a team name.

As you might expect, I received a lot of emails and tweets yesterday asking what I think of the poll results. As you might also expect, I do indeed have quite a few thoughts on the matter, which I’d like to share. Unfortunately, I was busy yesterday with ESPN work and some other stuff, and then I had to attend a friend’s birthday party in the evening, and today I’m going out to Long Island to see my mom, so I simply haven’t had time to address this. But I’ll get to it next week, promise.

In the meantime, I strongly, strongly suggest that anyone interested in this issue take some time to digest the Post’s entire package, which consists of four components. I read them myself in the following order, and I recommend that you do the same (note that the Post has a 10-article-per-month limit for non-subscribers; if you max out, however, you can keep getting access to 10 additional articles by switching to another browser, and then another, etc.): (Continue reading)