Strong opposition to Native American mascots, team names shown in University of Michigan research
ANN ARBOR, MI — Some Kansas City Chiefs fans could be seen doing a tomahawk chop, war chants and wearing headdresses during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2, and recent University of Michigan research shows Native Americans are not happy about it.
About two-thirds of Native Americans who frequently engage in tribal and cultural practices take offense to not only gestures and chants, but also to Native American mascots and team names in professional sports, according to the research.
Researchers at UM and the University of California, Berkeley surveyed 1,000 Native Americans and found about half of the respondents were offended by the tomahawk chop or mascots in chief headdresses. These results differ from national polls, specifically from the Washington Post, that suggest as few as 10% of Native Americans are offended by native mascots and, specifically, the Redskins name.
UM psychology professor Stephanie Fryberg said the UM research captures a broad diversity of native peoples and experiences, whereas previous opinion polls “were often used to silence Native people.”
“As researchers and consumers of information, we need to be very careful about whose voices we claim to be representing," said Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State and co-lead author of the study.
Read the full article at MLive.