Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Reilly On Native American Nicknames: "Antiques Of That Old Racism"

Illustration for article titled Reilly On Native American Nicknames: Antiques Of That Old Racism

I wouldn't say that Rick Reilly is inconsistent, exactly. Compare this 1991 column on Native American nicknames for sports teams to the one he published earlier this week, and you'll find lots of similarities. In both, for instance, he goes for the reductio ad absurdum of comparing all such nicknames to racial slurs, and he seems to have thought then, as he seems to think now, that this one guy he happened to talk to is capable of speaking on behalf of millions of people.

Still... this is the same guy who just the other day compared people who think the Washington Redskins should change their nickname to the architects of reservation policy?

Why are we still stuck with antiques of that old racism—the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians? Why are we still stuck with the Florida State Seminole riding onto the football field in a headdress and planting a flaming spear into the ground?


If we can have the Washington Redskins, why can't we have the Los Angeles Yellowskins? And if we can have the Cleveland Indians—whose grinning-injun logo is to American Indians what Stepin Fetchit is to African-Americans—why can't we have the San Diego Chicanos?


It's a pretty good column. The guy who wrote it ought to read it.


Photo: Getty

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