Whats wrong with "Braves" ??

I have heard of protests concering professional team nicknames such as “Indians” or “Redskins”. The Indians I understand because their logo is pretty insulting. The Redskins I understand, because . . . well DUH. But protesters have even started stalking the Braves. Why ??
Websters defines “braves” as : a North American Indian warrior. What is bad about that ? It has pride and history.
I am not advocating the terrible history thrust on the Indians. Yet the name is a more of a tribute to those that fought, than an insult.
To be a Brave is to be proud.
So how is that bad ? How is “Brave” so evil ??

I would guess that the biggest objection would be that it perpetuates the idea that the Native American men were primarily (or even solely) warriors and savages.

Seen any teams named for the rhetorical skills and oratory for which a number of chiefs were reknowned?

(Obviously, a sport team wants to be named for their ability to rip off their opponents’ heads and spit down their throats, not their abilities to charm nightingales out of trees. On the other hand, if you are of a group who is constantly held up as having been savage, you may be less inclined to let someone else use that as their own sobriquet.)

I think that in general only the particular group should be allowed to stereotype themselves. For example, the drunken, belligerent leprechan of Notre Dame is fine because the school, at least in its roots, was largely Irish Catholic. If members of my tribe want to demean themselves thus, cool.

If the Washington Redskins had been founded by Jim Thorpe,I would defer to his judgment on naming his team after a pejorative term. As it happens, the team was founded by a honky (though I prefer Chris Rock’s term “Yakoo”), so the damn name should be changed.

Hoping to found the Topeka Pansies soon,


Part of the protesting also came from the heavy use of tomahawks (especially as a mass marketing tool) and the Indian War chant and tomahawk chop (the same thing that is used at Florida State University.)

I did some searching over the web that would give better descriptions of Native Americans’ protest regarding the Braves far better than I can, but had some difficulties. It appears that even though they may still protest the names, the issue isn’t quite the media barnburner it once was (at least in the Atlanta area.)

But, try these links on for size if you want to.


But I’d like to see Chief Nockahoma returned to the Braves’ entourage.

All the Washington Redskins have to do is change their logo from an Indian to a potato. Redskin potatoes: what’s offensive about that? :D:D

No, no and no! SuaSponte, how can you say it’s OK for a group to stereotype themselves but an outsider can’t? Furthermore, why would a particular race complain of being stereotyped, then go on to do it to themselves? This rationalization is lame at best.

At the risk of turning this into a GD or something for the Pit, I say WHO CARES IF THEY’RE CALLED THE BRAVES! I’m of Mexican descent and you can call me spic, wetback, beaner, whatever you want. I DON’T CARE! Nothing anyone can call me is going to affect my life. People have to wake up and stop caring about this stupid name calling. “They called me a (insert racial epithet here). Waaaaaaaaaa.” UGH!

And I don’t care what anyone says, racial stereotypes are ALWAYS founded in some truth. Take this for example: (I’ll use Mexicans as an example so as not to offend) All Mexicans are lazy. Are they? Sure they are. But not anymore than any other race. My guess is that this came from the Mexican “siesta”, taking a nap in the afternoon. So it came from somewhere.

So don’t be offended if you think you don’t fit any of your race’s stereotype because if you think that, then you don’t.

Gotta go, I need a nap. :wink:

lemme see…since I’m Indian, I should have some of the stereotypical behavior of Indians…

I’m a drunk? Nope, rarely drink.
I live on a reservation? Nope, actually SF Bay Area.
I’m on welfare? Nope, though I’m still trying to pay off my loans from grad school.
I’m lazy? Well…you might have me there. Looks like I should go find me another job. Shouldn’t be too hard, what with that affirmative action thing I’ve abused for most of my life…

Listen, nobody likes whiners, but there is some validity to the objections of Indians concerning the naming of sports teams. Yes, you can say that all Mexicans are lazy, but do you really want it to be considered a defining characteristic? The other replies to this post at least acknowledge the notion that perhaps Indians want to be regarded as something more than tomahawk carrying savages.

Another point, even “positive” stereotypes are damaging. How many Indians do you know who are of the Noble Savage persuasion? The Brave Warrior? The Indian Princess? And, if another person calls me Pochahontas (just because I may happen to wear my hair in braids?!) because they think it’s cute…!

Isn’t this similar to the controversy about the use (or misuse) of the Confederate battle flag. Symbols are important in our culture, yet those symbols are often subject to interpretation.

In suburban Austin, there is a school that uses the Rebel flag on their athletic uniforms, band uniforms, and cheerleader outfits. After a touchdown, the cheerleaders run with the flag. The school’s fightsong is even “Dixie.”

I have worked in this school and found that people are no more or less racist there than anywhere else I’ve been. Still, the symbols mean different things to different people. To some, these images carry a racist message while, to others, they are evocative of “school spirit.” Beauty, ugly (or neither) is truly in the eye of the beholder.

IMHO, it is inappropriate to use such powerful symbols for things as trivial as sports teams or school mascots. Names such as Redskins or Braves is not really appropriate for entertainment. Similarly, symbols of the Confederacy shouldn’t be hijacked for the whims of sports or schools. As for the Cleveland Indians, try this experiment. Replace the word “Indians” with the word “Negroes.” Is this appropriate? Or what about Anglos? If the names of these ethnic or racial groups aren’t appropriate names for sports franchises, why is the name “Indians?”

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on Washington D.C. and their teams.

Washington Redskins: 'Nuff said about the despicable name, but consider the dripping irony of the fact that the team represents the federal district that houses the authorities who were supposed to guarantee the rights of American Indians–and failed egregiously.

On the other hand, D.C. considered the name “Bullets” to be a little dicey considering the war-zone like casualty figures we enjoy here every summer. So they change the name to the deliciously anti-Christian “Wizards.” And to top it off, their logo closely resembles the Sickle and Hammer from the old Soviet Union.

And then there’s D.C. United, our soccer team. Their colors are red, white and black. Their symbol is a marshalistic black eagle on a shield. Go to a United match and it looks like the Hitler Youth is on parade.

Our Hockey team hasn’t figured out a way to offend me yet.

It should be noted that from an historical perspective these Indian-related names–and there are a lot of them–were chosen for the brave, fierce, formidable quality that the terms once evoked. Non-Indian Americans of the early part of this century had a grudging respect and a sense of nostalgia for a people they considered worthy opponents. That teams around the nation chose to use these names was in a small sense a compliment.

I do not believe it is a compliment that outweighs the blatant slur many of these names carry with them. I am happy to live in a day and age where at least some people have learned to question stereotypes and their perpetuation. If attacking the relatively innocuous term “Braves” forces people to reconsider their attitudes toward American Indians, I suppose it is a justifiable (if slightly annoying) cause.

I think this needs to go over to Great Debates.

That someday someone will ask one of these “semi-loaded” questions in General Questions, that someone will answer it (as Tomndebb did so well in the very first response), and that the OP would come back in and say something like “Oh. That explains it. I don’t agree but there we are.” And the thread will die.

It actually happened once, but I had to beg.

Because this issue has easily two dozen threads dedicated to it in Great Debates, and because David B and Gaudere will hit me Gilligan-style with their moderator hats if I send them another one, I’ll beg again.

Please do not argue stuff like this in GQ. Start a thread in GD, or resurrect an old one. And if the OP would come back in and say something along the lines of what I suggested above, he’d sure make a happy moderator.

Just a couple of things: First off, from the OP (Warning! Pet peeve follows)

I can maybe see the objection to the name “Indians” (although I still don’t agree with it), but Chief Wahoo isn’t the problem. All sports logos, even the abstract ones that don’t offend anyone, are charicatures of what they’re supposed to represent. Swoop doesn’t look like a real eagle, the Chicago Bull (sorry, don’t know his name) doesn’t look like a real bull, and Wahoo doesn’t look like a real person of American descent.

As to other ethnic names for sports teams: “Indians” or “Braves” is exactly as offensive as “Celtics” or “Vikings”. Note that the latter plays into the same warrior stereotypes as “Braves”: Just as not all native Americans were braves, not all Norse were vikings.

All in all, I think that there’s better reasons to hate the Braves than the name :slight_smile:

Being x of the Washington area I followed the old “Bullets” new name sweepstakes a few years ago with some interest. Of those being seriously (I guess) considered my absolute favorite was the Washington “Seadogs”.