Adidas has announced an initiative to help high schools transition away from using Native American mascots. (Sports Illustrated)
Use our resources to check out some less-controversial mascots.
- According to Sports Illustrated, around 2,000 schools use Native American mascots. Besides the Redskins, what are names of mascots with direct or indirect Native American associations?
- In general:
- Specific groups:
- In general:
- Are mascots ever associated with other ethnic groups?
- Today, rarely. The Fighting Irish and the Celtics, for instance, are associated with Irish people.
- Historically, yes. Be ready to cringe:
- The Wahpeton (North Dakota) Huskies were the Wops until 1989.
- The Coachella Valley (California) Mighty Arabs kept the name but updated the mascot in 2014.
- The Akron (Ohio) East Community Learning Center’s Dragons were the Orientals until 2010.
- Last but not least among the most offensive team names, the Pekin (Illinois) Dragons were the Chinks until 1981.
- According to Sports Illustrated, Adidas “has offered [all 2,000 schools] both financial and design resources” to change mascots. What might need to be changed?
- uniforms and other athletic wear
- signs associated with facilities
- mascot costumes
- school stationery
- alumni and fund-raising materials
- That’s a lot of money. Can Adidas afford this commitment?
- Yes. Adidas, a German company which also owns Reebok and Rockport athletic apparel as well as the FC Bayern Munich soccer franchise, is one of the world’s most valuable brands, with a market cap of more than $17 billion and 53,000 employees. Their glowing 9-month report was released the same day as their offer to help schools with mascot transition.
- What are some possible alternatives to mascots with Native American associations? What would you choose?
- Big Cats!! Lions, cougars, tigers, and panthers are all popular mascots. Click here to learn how the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition and other groups are working to “amplify school spirit to empower students and fans of tiger mascot colleges to save tigers.”
- Powerful concepts, such as thunder or storm, are popular team names. (This thunder’s mascot is a bison, while this storm’s mascot is named Doppler.)
- Names associated with history, such as Spartans or Brewers, are popular.
- Some schools choose to maintain a loose affiliation with their former mascot, changing from the Redskins to the Redhawks, for instance.
Sports Illustrated: Adidas aims to help high schools change Native American mascots
Nat Geo: Mascots and College Students Team Up to Save Big Cats