Sunday, August 14, 2005

The NCAA and the Sniveling Wimps

Fallout from the NCAA decision to ban American Indian mascots continues. I personally have given up. If Native Indians want to be written out of American popular culture, so be it. I suspect that they will one day regret their thin skins. Michael Ventre says it better than I can.

NCAA more offensive than school nicknames

Braves, Indians, Seminoles, even Warriors, are groups of individuals who represent a fighting spirit, determination, perseverance, strength and courage.

As a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, I concur.

That’s why schools and pro teams call themselves those names. That’s why they don’t call themselves the “Sniveling Wimps” or the “Thieving Rats.”

Sniveling Wimps might be a good term for the holier than thou crowd at the NCAA.

Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Native American culture has almost faded from view.

Unfortunately, the one perception that is thriving when it comes to Native Americans is the Indian gaming business.

And no one seems to be offended by that.

If the NCAA and others are successful in replacing any Native American references in sports with benign substitutes, they will further push that culture and its rich history from the national consciousness.

And if the descendants of the first Americans want to do this to themselves, go for it. I am tired of being angry over this issue. Write them out of everything but the history books. Change the town names, river names, sports teams and everything else associated with American Indian heritage that could be deemed hostile or offensive to someone. Suck up to the minority view so as to water down the whole environment.

When there are no such cultural reminders, that segment of society is in greater danger of being forgotten.

Oh well. PC has done quite a bit of damage across the country. What's one more victim.

The NCAA is not so outraged and offended by the Native American nicknames and mascots that it is willing to fight to impose an all-out ban on all their member schools in all sports — and therefore turn down all merchandising revenue that flows in from selling jerseys and other items with Seminoles and Warriors on them.

Tradition means nothing to the pencil pushers, but cash certainly does.

The NCAA is once again hypocritical, on one hand trying to stake out the moral high ground by trumpeting a politically correct measure, while at the same time using the other to rake in cash.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I choose to be offended by that.

Me too.

Update: Governor Jeb Bush joins the anti-PC battle against the NCAA.

Gov. Bush criticizes NCAA ban on Seminoles

"I think it's offensive to native Americans ... the Seminole Indian tribe who support the traditions of FSU," Bush said on his way into a Cabinet meeting. "I think they insult those people by telling them, 'No, no, you're not smart enough to understand this. You should be feeling really horrible about this.' It's ridiculous."

"How politically correct can we get?" Bush asked. "The folks that make these decisions need to get out more often."

Bush said the NCAA must have better things to do that sit around worrying about the nicknames adopted by its member institutions.

"You know what they ought to be worried about? The graduation rates of most college athletes," the second-term Florida governor said. "Maybe if they had some suggestions on that, that universities could apply and could implement, they could be doing a service to all of us."

In Sports:
Nats 9, rockies 2
Braves 13, diamondbacks 8