Running Strong for American Indian Youth® co-founder and national spokesperson Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota) has long been opposed to sports teams using proud Native Americans as their “mascots.”
“It’s time to change,” Billy told Indianz.com earlier this decade on the topic. “It’s time for America to move on.
“It’s time for those individuals and those teams who think they’re honoring us to recognize that we bring honor to ourselves and our tribal nations.
“In honoring our tribal nations, we bring honor to America.”
While there have been some successes in the years that have followed — most notably last year when the Washington Football Team finally retired its offensive name — which Billy described as “among the most vulgar for us.”
Now, the time is long past for other sports teams — the Kansas City football team to name but one — to rid themselves of similar derogatory names.
In December, The New York Times reported that the Cleveland baseball team will drop its team name stating, “The decision comes amid a wider push for sports teams to stop using Native American names and imagery as team names and mascots” after years of protest from fans and Native American groups and is “moving away from a moniker that has long been criticized as racist.”
As progress is being made, we will not rest until ALL Native American team names are put to rest at long last.
And as Billy commented following the announcement that the Washington Football Team finally rid itself of its racist team name — “It’s never too late to do the right thing.”