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Racism in Sports Team Images A Indigenous Perspective on Trademarks.

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Presentation on theme: "Racism in Sports Team Images A Indigenous Perspective on Trademarks."— Presentation transcript:

1 Racism in Sports Team Images A Indigenous Perspective on Trademarks

2 What do you think of when you hear Indian or Aboriginal?

3 Some History and Facts Definitions Definitions Indian – was used by government, outdated Indian – was used by government, outdated Aboriginal/Native – general umbrella term Aboriginal/Native – general umbrella term First Nations – 50+ different First Nations in Canada First Nations – 50+ different First Nations in Canada Indigenous – original people of the land Indigenous – original people of the land Metis – mixed indigenous/European ancestry Metis – mixed indigenous/European ancestry Inuit – indigenous people of Arctic Inuit – indigenous people of Arctic In US they use the term American Indian or Native American In US they use the term American Indian or Native American

4 Facts and Figures Indigenous peoples in North America have lived here for > 10,000 years Indigenous peoples in North America have lived here for > 10,000 years Decimation through disease, conflict, uprooting Decimation through disease, conflict, uprooting Current Canadian population approx. 1 million (3% of population), fastest growing demographic Current Canadian population approx. 1 million (3% of population), fastest growing demographic Thriving and struggling communities, resilience Thriving and struggling communities, resilience

5 What is a trademark? Word, phrase, jingle, or symbol that identifies a particular enterprise/product Word, phrase, jingle, or symbol that identifies a particular enterprise/product Sports teams names do not have indefinite useful life – they may change trademark Sports teams names do not have indefinite useful life – they may change trademark

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8 Native American Mascots salgNyX3roI&feature=related salgNyX3roI&feature=related salgNyX3roI&feature=related salgNyX3roI&feature=related

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12 Opposing use of mascots Perpetuate ignorance/negative stereotypes Perpetuate ignorance/negative stereotypes Demean traditions, ceremonies Demean traditions, ceremonies Double standards – no team names for African-Americans, Caucasians or Latin Americans Double standards – no team names for African-Americans, Caucasians or Latin Americans Most often used in schools – message to youth? Most often used in schools – message to youth?

13 Offensive dance – U.S. College basketball Offensive dance – U.S. College basketball jhKxKPUbs_E&feature=related jhKxKPUbs_E&feature=related jhKxKPUbs_E&feature=related jhKxKPUbs_E&feature=related

14 Supporting the use of mascots Say they honor the people (fradulent claim by Washington and Cleveland) Say they honor the people (fradulent claim by Washington and Cleveland) Say it promotes indigenous culture Say it promotes indigenous culture Arguments often made by non-indigenous people Arguments often made by non-indigenous people Change will alienate alumni, decrease donations, anger fans Change will alienate alumni, decrease donations, anger fans

15 Cleveland “Indians” Chief Wahoo is mascot Chief Wahoo is mascot Controversial throughout history Controversial throughout history Said the name was to honour a Native American athlete – he asks them to change it though Said the name was to honour a Native American athlete – he asks them to change it though Protest in 1998, protesters arrested and launch a lawsuit Protest in 1998, protesters arrested and launch a lawsuit Financial implications? Financial implications?

16 CLEVELAND INDIANS BASEBALL COMPANY, INC. CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED AND IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT SHARE DATA) MARCH 31, DECEMBER 31, MARCH 31, DECEMBER 31, CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents $24,411 $39,283 Marketable securities 50,308 13,287 Investments 97 3,783 Receivables and accrued income 6,614 9,421 Merchandise inventories 2,109 1,207 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 4,336 2,969 Deferred taxes 1, Deposit for grievance settlement 9,699 9, Total current assets 98,827 79, FIXED ASSETS: Leasehold improvements, furniture and fixtures and other equipment, at cost 9,697 8,969 Less accumulated depreciation and amortization 3,678 3, Total fixed assets, net 6,019 5, Total fixed assets, net 6,019 5,582 PREPAID SIGNING BONUSES AND PLAYER CONTRACTS (Net of accumulated amortization) 11,417 10,590 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (Net of accumulated amortization) 10,184 10,383 DEFERRED TAXES 3,960 3,960 OTHER ASSETS 14,702 11, TOTAL $ 145,109 $ 122,023 ========= =========

17 Financial Implications for name change financial cost of changing logo, merchandise becomes useless financial cost of changing logo, merchandise becomes useless major sports teams HAVE changed their mascots for non-controversial and financial reasons major sports teams HAVE changed their mascots for non-controversial and financial reasons Washington Bullets changed their mascot to the "Wizards" over concerns with violent connotations Washington Bullets changed their mascot to the "Wizards" over concerns with violent connotations Washington Bullets Washington Bullets Tennessee Oilers, changed mascot to "Titans" a full two years after the team's move from Houston. Tennessee Oilers, changed mascot to "Titans" a full two years after the team's move from Houston. Tennessee Oilers Houston Tennessee Oilers Houston

18 Some Success Indigenous activists work full-time on this issue Indigenous activists work full-time on this issue Hank Aaron, former baseball superstar lends support Hank Aaron, former baseball superstar lends support Cleveland Mayor proposes removing Indians logo from all city property Cleveland Mayor proposes removing Indians logo from all city property Seattle University changes “Chieftains” to “Redhawks” Seattle University changes “Chieftains” to “Redhawks” California bans “redskins” from license plates California bans “redskins” from license plates Atlanta Braves changes mascot Atlanta Braves changes mascot

19 More success College teams that aren’t controversial refusing to play with teams that have racist names/logos (Univ. of Wisconsin, Univ. of Iowa) College teams that aren’t controversial refusing to play with teams that have racist names/logos (Univ. of Wisconsin, Univ. of Iowa) Newspapers refuse to print offensive team names (referred to as “Washington team”) Newspapers refuse to print offensive team names (referred to as “Washington team”)

20 But…. issue still remains contested today issue still remains contested today According to American Indian Cultural Support, 2,498 U.S. schools use racist mascots (2006) According to American Indian Cultural Support, 2,498 U.S. schools use racist mascots (2006) No major changes to professional team names/logos No major changes to professional team names/logos In Canada Edmonton Eskimos, Brooklin Redmen in Ontario, others? (ironic that Brooklin, a lacrosse team would use such a logo since lacrosse is an indigenous game) In Canada Edmonton Eskimos, Brooklin Redmen in Ontario, others? (ironic that Brooklin, a lacrosse team would use such a logo since lacrosse is an indigenous game) Danforth Tech in TDSB had to change their Redmen name Danforth Tech in TDSB had to change their Redmen name

21 No more chiefs and Pocohontas!

22 Instead of this….. Why not this? ISU#2 – create a new logo and write a letter/ to the offending team!


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