Did Miles Brand And Company Consult The Indian Tribes On Their Decision?

By Gregory Moore
Updated: August 10, 2005

SAN ANTONIO — “The NCAA objects to institutions using racial/ethnic/national origin references in their intercollegiate athletics programs”, said NCAA President Myles Brand. “Several institutions have made changes that adhere to the core values of the NCAA Constitution pertaining to cultural diversity, ethical sportsmanship and nondiscrimination”.

“We applaud that, and we will continue to monitor these institutions and others. All institutions are encouraged to promote these core values and take proactive steps at every NCAA event through institutional event management to enhance the integrity of intercollegiate athletics related to these issues”.

That statement reminds me of when one man’s voice, a lone voice mind you, turned San Antonio’s Sam Houston High School from the Cherokees to the Hurricanes. That was at the high school level but what the NCAA did this past Friday can easily be called discriminatory in nature because the governing body is now punishing institutions that have Native American symbols as their mascots.

Well here’s a question for Mr. Brand and his cohorts on the executive committee: did you consult with the tribes who you think are offended by the names?

Once again a bunch of individuals who have way to many sheepskins hanging in their offices have made a decision that not only shows they have no clue to reality but that they are so clueless on how to be politically correct that they will cut their own nose off to spite what they perceive as an adherent evil in college sports.

Schools like Florida State should be offended and they have every right to want to hang Brand up in effigy.

“Florida State University is stunned at the complete lack of appreciation for cultural diversity shown by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Executive Committee”, FSU president T.K. Wetherell said in a blistering statement.

“That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally “hostile and abusive” is both outrageous and insulting”.

Other schools are following the same path as FSU. Illinois found itself in a similar predicament after Friday’s ruling.

“The university and board of trustees are going to have to … make a determination on how it impacts the institution and go from there”, said Thomas Hardy, executive director of university relations for Illinois.

“Certainly some things remain to be answered, and one of those things is the definition of hostile and abusive”.

There are eighteen schools that have such mascots including Alcorn State but if the NCAA is going to adopt such a rule for it’s mascots, then what other mascots/animals/individuals are schools offending as defined by this ruling?

For instance what about the Wolverine? Shouldn’t the National Wolverine Society bring a lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of the name? How about the bulldog? Shouldn’t the English Bulldog Lovers Society of Great Britain sue the American Bulldog Admirers society for not including them in the mascot heritage for the University of Georgia?

What about Notre Dame? The Fighting Irish and the leprechaun can be seen as so bigoted and racist that surely Brand would want them to remove such revelry from South Bend, Indiana. The rule is utterly ridiculous because it shows exactly why the NCAA needs to find new ways of governing institutions.

I could bring a ridiculous lawsuit against any school up under this new ruling. For instance I used to own an Alaskan malamute. Should I sue the University of Washington because their mascot is a Siberian husky?

College sports fans it is time for us to put the NCAA in its proper place and tell them to just fix what they know is broken. American Indian mascots have been around for years prior to this and now the NCAA wants to get politically correct.

Maybe Brand and his friends need to talk to the Seminole nation as to what is offensive. Hey, maybe they can all stay down in Hollywood, Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for their meeting and come up with ways as to how to not come up with stupid ideas in 2005.

KRUEGER SHOULD BE FIRED FOR MAKING STUPID STATEMENTS KNBR can suspend Larry Krueger for one week without pay but that doesn’t solve anything on the fact that he made a very egregious error in judgment. Let’s look at the facts.

Krueger made the mistake of singling out a select group of players on the San Francisco Giants roster and whether he understood the consequences at the time, he undoubtedly touched a nerve in a city where culture diversity is at a premium in San Francisco as that city’s culture accepts all ethnic colors and all sexual orientations and lifestyles.

Should Krueger be fired for his statements? If KNBR had any balls and if the general manager truly wanted to make sure that the station’s relationship with the Giants was in tact, Krueger would be removed immediately.

What the fans in San Francisco deserve is a sports radio station that is culturally sensitive and its hosts should be able to make sound, intelligent judgments on a team without setting off such a firestorm of controversy.

Sports talk radio is all about “controversy” but one thing the medium doesn’t need is for an intelligent individual like Krueger make a stupendously idiotic statement like what he made last week. There is simply no room in sports talk radio for such demeanor and whether it’s intentional or not, Krueger needs to be fired for his “slip of the tongue”.

And speaking of bigotry, it was brought to my attention that Vernon Bellecourt, the national president for the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, used a racial slur himself on Fox Sports Radio’s “The Drive with Chris Myers” and he went a little overboard himself and offended co-host Bryan Cox.

From what I gathered after talking to a few folks in the know, Bellecourt laid out a bigoted quote of his own against Cox and African Americans. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt the people who heard it first hand, Mr. Bellecourt is worse than Mr. Krueger, who made an egregious error in speech, and David Dukes, a man who reveled in being a racist in one of the most hated racial organizations, the KKK.

He is supposed to represent an organization that wants Americans to respect the American Indian heritage but yet he would stoop so low on the air as to call Caucasians “crackers” shows exactly why most Americans will never accept groups like the NAACP, LULAC and other ethnic/minority organizations.

Even within these groups, there are members who are so racist, so bigoted against others that ultimately the cause for racial inclusion and acceptance is trumped by the stupidity and hatred of those select members.

I hope Mr. Bellecourt understands that what he did is so unacceptable in the media realm that he may have jeopardized the very “authenticity” of his organization now.

Why should I or anyone else involved in sports media interview him or anyone else in his group after such a blatant racial slur on a national sports talk show heard by millions across the country and around the world on Armed Forces Radio?

If my friends at FSR, Sporting News and ESPN are as wise as I think they are, they will not invite this individual or his group on any of their programming. As I stated in the Krueger rant, bigotry has no place on sports talk radio or on the sports pages of any website or printed newspaper.