Thursday, February 17, 2011

ND legislative committee recommends forcing university to keep team name

For quite some time, the University of North Dakota has called their sports teams "The Fighting Sioux". Understandably, many feel uncomfortable with using a name that at best perpetuates a very one-dimensional view of the indigenous people of this continent. And indeed, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main university sports organization in the US, has recently ordered names and logos that are "hostile and abusive" (like, say, perpetuating racist stereotypes) to be changed. The university is willing to comply, but legislators are preparing to force them to keep the name at all costs... and even legislators who oppose the bill are reluctant to express approval of the name change:

During the committee discussion, Rep. Phil Mueller, D-Valley City, said he’s never had a problem with the Fighting Sioux nickname, but he would not support the bill.

He said the state Board of Higher Education and UND concluded it’s time to move on.

“I guess I’m of common mind with them about that. This isn’t going to go away,” Mueller said. “I don’t think that the Standing Rock people are going to decide this is all fine and the NCAA is going to be happy.”

From the Fargo Forum. To make it all the more odd, the name isn't even that old - according to Wikipedia they were called the Flickertails until 1930. The university was founded in 1883, and managed almost 50 years without the name...

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