Fighting Sioux To Fight No More Forever
Back in 1973, just before I entered the U.S. Army, I attended U.N.D. (University of North Dakota) for a semester. I grew up 60 miles away from Grand Forks and the institution that gave the NBA Phil Jackson and showed the rest of the country how to play ice hockey. I was always a fan of the Fighting Sioux…in fact, the Sioux mascot image was very much like my high school mascot image of the Lakota Raiders. Lakota is the Sioux word for ally or friend and the Sioux refered to themselves as the Lakota People.
The Fort Totten Sioux reservation was 25 miles west of our family farm. Suffice it to say, references to the great Sioux nation were abundent. But all that was PRE-POLITCAL CORRECTNESS as the story now reveals.
The University of North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” will be all but gone by the end of the year.
That was the ultimate decision that University of North Dakota officials made, heeding the call of the NCAA which said the term is offensive to Native Americans. They will retire the nickname of its athletics program and implement a new name for the school early next year. After private meetings were held with leaders of the NCAA, and amid mounting pressure, the school opted to back down and accept a name change.
Despite the school’s claims that Native Americans were not hurt by the nickname, the NCAA upheld its policy prohibiting Native American nicknames, logos, and and mascots. UND is the last of 33 schools to “comply, accept sanctions, or gain an exemption by obtaining support from identified namesake tribes.”
In recent days, the issue sparked heated debate over the issue. But with professional sports continuing to carry on with teams like the Braves, Indians, and Redskins, what’s this decision really worth, anyway?