Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Socrates and Team Names

 

Socrates: I was told you could explain to me why it’s important that Cleveland’s major league baseball team change its name from the “Indians.”

Christopher Begay: Yes, it is very straightforward. Referring to a sports team as the “Indians” dehumanizes Native Americans and desecrates our sacred traditions, cultures, and all forms of our tribal governments.

Socrates: This surprises me. At home games at least, don’t people in the stands make statements in support of their team?

Begay: How do you mean?

Socrates: Wouldn’t fans yell “let’s go Indians” and “hurrah for the Indians.” Wouldn’t they have silly foam fingers and signs saying the “Indians are Number One?” In these and many other ways, I think fans would encourage the success of the Indians.

Begay: But these would be expressions in support of the team, not in support of Native Americans. By using the word “Indian” to refer to a sports team, it dehumanizes Native Americans.

Socrates: Would this be true whenever a team name refers to a group of people?

Begay: It might be.

Socrates: So “Mariners” would dehumanize seafarers, “Padres” dehumanizes Catholic clergy and desecrates that religion, and Dodgers dehumanizes people who avoid trams?

Begay: Hardly anyone remembers what the Dodger name refers to.

Socrates: Still, I find it hard to believe that residents of Philadelphia would support a team that seeks to dehumanize them unless you think “Phillies” refers to female horses.

Begay: These other groups have not been oppressed like Native Americans. The use of “Indians” furthers the oppression of my people.

Socrates: By desecrating your traditions?

Begay: Yes.

Socrates: What was your traditional use of the word “Indian.”

Begay: We never used the word traditionally. “Indian” is a vestige of Spanish ignorance in believing that Columbus had sailed to Asia, rather than reaching our continents.

Socrates: If the word is not used in your tradition, how can its use for a team name desecrate a sacred tradition?

Begay: This may be more to do with the logo, which incorporated a feather headdress.

Socrates: But the logo is gone now; we are just talking about the team’s name. Let’s continue: how does the name desecrate your culture?

Begay: Why are you attacking me? Your questions are just another form of oppression.

Socrates: My pupil Plato will tell you that I talk to everyone this way. But how can trying to understand you be an attack on you?

Begay: I will not tolerate this any longer.

[Begay leaves.]

Socrates: I wonder if changing the name to the “Cleveland Seventh Cavalry” would make him feel any better?

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  1. OldPhil Coolidge

    Perfect.

     

    • #1
    • July 5, 2020, at 4:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. TreeRat Member

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    • #2
    • July 5, 2020, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Full Size Tabby Member

    Between removing Indian-related names from sports teams and images of black people from consumer products, apparently the way we now “honor” ethnic groups is by scrubbing them out of culture – making them invisible and thus irrelevant. 

    • #3
    • July 5, 2020, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  4. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    Tree Rat & Shell Gamer,

    You are marketing geniuses. Of course, The Cleveland Cavalry. Can you imagine the organ playing Garry Owen and the entire stadium singing along? Incredible!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
    • July 5, 2020, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. TreeRat Member

    Is there something about the Cavalry replacing the Indians that might resonate with some? I wonder if, given the choice, they might think having the Indians prevail would be preferable.

    • #5
    • July 5, 2020, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I particularly like the 7th Cavalry idea. “Buffalo Soldiers” would be good too.

    Maybe I’m getting the hang of this. Maybe not.

    • #6
    • July 5, 2020, at 5:31 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    Looks like having minority mascots may be okay again. If the Redskins become the Redtails, I guess every white member of the team is guilty of cultural appropriation:

    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/redskins-dwayne-haskins-support-this-name-team-decides-change

    • #7
    • July 5, 2020, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. tigerlily Member

    The Cleveland professional baseball team came to be called “Indians” to honor a former player, Louis Sockalexis, who was Native American. The team had been called the Naps in honor of their best player, Nap Lajoie, but when he left the team, they needed a new moniker, held a contest among the team’s fans and selected Indians.

     

    • #8
    • July 5, 2020, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  9. The Reticulator Member

    Back in 1991 before the Greatest World Series Ever, some people were making a fuss about the Braves’ name. A Minnesota Indian (maybe Ojibwe, but in those days I didn’t know a lot about the different tribal groups other than Sioux) was interviewed and said the name Braves didn’t bother him too much, but the best way to deal with it would be for the Twins to beat Atlanta in four straight. 

    • #9
    • July 5, 2020, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    Not to be confused with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which disrespects the royalty, aka the administrative state. 

    • #10
    • July 5, 2020, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I look forward to Monday-morning quarterbacking the games instead of the team naming.

    • #11
    • July 5, 2020, at 7:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Housebroken Thatcher

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    Tree Rat & Shell Gamer,

    You are marketing geniuses. Of course, The Cleveland Cavalry. Can you imagine the organ playing Garry Owen and the entire stadium singing along? Incredible!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    I had more in mind something like “Somebody yelled attack, and there I stood with an arrow in my back!”

    • #12
    • July 5, 2020, at 7:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Tree Rat & Shell Gamer,

    You are marketing geniuses. Of course, The Cleveland Cavalry.

    I remember one winter evening on the northern plains, the tractor radio skipped to a Cleveland Cavaliers game. The business sponsoring the broadcast was a men’s store, that said they could fit you if you were “short, extra short, or portly short.” Maybe that was marketing genius, or not. I’ve always wondered. This was in back in the day, when the league wouldn’t let the Cavalier management make trades without league approval, because they were so bad at it. 

    And what about the Browns? Can’t they do anything right?

    • #13
    • July 5, 2020, at 8:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. E. Kent Golding Member

    https://babylonbee.com/news/redskins-to-change-name-to-lizard-people-so-theyll-fit-in-better-in-dc

    While I think it is stupid that athletes are the most admired people on the planet, athletes ARE the most admired people on the planet. Every team using an Indian associated name or mascot is trying to associate their team with the bravery, warrior spirit, toughness and stoic machismo of the American Indians — indirectly honoring American Indians, not insulting them. This is so mind numbingly obvious that the people trying to move away from Indian names have to be intentionally , knowingly ignoring this. Their goal is something other than avoiding dishonor to the Indians.

    • #14
    • July 6, 2020, at 2:55 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    ShellGamer: Christopher Begay: Yes, it is very straightforward. Referring to a sports team as the “Indians” dehumanizes Native Americans and desecrates our sacred traditions, cultures, and all forms of our tribal governments.

    I guess Muslims are insulting Islam when they name half of their male children “Mohammed” . . .

    • #15
    • July 6, 2020, at 4:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #16
    • July 6, 2020, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    ShellGamer: Christopher Begay: Yes, it is very straightforward. Referring to a sports team as the “Indians” dehumanizes Native Americans and desecrates our sacred traditions, cultures, and all forms of our tribal governments.

    I guess Muslims are insulting Islam when they name half of their male children “Mohammed” . . .

    Depends on which half.

    • #17
    • July 6, 2020, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    Tree Rat & Shell Gamer,

    You are marketing geniuses. Of course, The Cleveland Cavalry. Can you imagine the organ playing Garry Owen and the entire stadium singing along? Incredible!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    I had more in mind something like “Somebody yelled attack, and there I stood with an arrow in my back!”

    Housebroken,

    I’m sure you grasped my joke suggesting that Garry Owen be the theme song of the Cleveland Cavalry and your comic song is fun too. However, it made me think a little seriously. You know, I think “dying with your boots on” is preferable to dying while kneeling and begging forgiveness for a crime you never committed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
    • July 6, 2020, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I had a long twitter exchange yesterday with Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com yesterday. He is fully supportive of the heckler’s veto. If only one Native American disagrees with the name it must go. This is not compatible with a free society.

    The idea that anyone chooses a name for a sports team to mock or denigrate is absurd on the face of it. No one chooses to identify with something they also choose to mock. You can make a case that Chief Wahoo had to go but even then, this still boils down to truly meaningless symbolism.

    Change the name and the unemployment, health and addiction problems remain. 

     

    • #19
    • July 6, 2020, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    I wonder if Washington D.C. teams should be called the Jackboots. Sock color could be optional.

    • #20
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Full Size Tabby Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I wonder if Washington D.C. teams should be called the Jackboots. Sock color could be optional.

    Babylon Bee suggests “Lizard People.”

    • #21
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Housebroken Thatcher

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Cleveland Cavalry …. not bad, actually.

    Tree Rat & Shell Gamer,

    You are marketing geniuses. Of course, The Cleveland Cavalry. Can you imagine the organ playing Garry Owen and the entire stadium singing along? Incredible!!!

    Regards,

    Jim

    I had more in mind something like “Somebody yelled attack, and there I stood with an arrow in my back!”

    Housebroken,

    I’m sure you grasped my joke suggesting that Garry Owen be the theme song of the Cleveland Cavalry and your comic song is fun too. However, it made me think a little seriously. You know, I think “dying with your boots on” is preferable to dying while kneeling and begging forgiveness for a crime you never committed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Got that right!

    • #22
    • July 6, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. TreeRat Member

    Suppose an alleged White Supremacy Group were to argue for changing all Native-American names because the team should not be associated with the squalor and drunkeness of the reservations or the greed and (something else derogatory) of the casinos.

    Would the current activists take that as demeaning and insist the names stay?

    • #23
    • July 6, 2020, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. The Reticulator Member

    Tree Rat (View Comment):

    Suppose an alleged White Supremacy Group were to argue for changing all Native-American names because the team should not be associated with the squalor and drunkeness of the reservations or the greed and (something else derogatory) of the casinos.

    Would the current activists take that as demeaning and insist the names stay?

    This is not about consistency and reasons.

    • #24
    • July 6, 2020, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Scott Wilmot Member

    It seems inevitable that the Tribe will change the team name. I’ll miss that name. I’m a native Ohioan and have been an Indians fan for as long as I can remember. I remember the huge Chief Wahoo sign at old Municipal Stadium. But when they change the name I hope they go with this:

    I’ve got a long connection to buzzards. March 15 is my birthday, and it is also Buzzard’s Day – celebrated in Hinckley, OH – just south of where I grew up. The buzzard was also the mascot of WMMS – the R&R radio station we listened to in high school (class 0f ’76).

    So there ya go – introducing the Cleveland Buzzards.

    • #25
    • July 7, 2020, at 4:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes