Peterson: Political posturing just wrong

The kind of political posturing we’re seeing in this country when it comes to sports is uneven — and unnerving.

The controversy over the nicknames of some sports teams is the one attracting the most attention around the country.

Take the Washington Redskins, if you will.

The Redskins have had that nickname since the organization was formed in the late 1930s in Boston.

Now, I’m not saying the name doesn’t offend a few people. But remarkably few of those detractors are Native Americans. They’re mostly people who latched on to a cause … and are riding it to death.

Speaking of Native Americans. I’m reasonably sure a good percentage of them would tell you in private that the furor over this subject is unwarranted.

When the nickname “Fighting Sioux” was removed as the name for University of North Dakota athletic teams a few years back, a poll was taken among the residents of that state.

Most residents, including a majority of Indian people, were opposed to making the change.

To tell the truth, I don’t even know the nickname of North Dakota sports teams anymore.

And it goes on and on — even in the Upper Peninsula where Marquette High School is embroiled in an argument on whether to remove Redmen and Redettes as nicknames of their sports teams.

Maybe, the MHS officials will take action similar to the one Marquette University used a few years back. They changed the name from Warriors to Golden Eagles, much to the chagrin of many MU rooters.

The same thing happened at Stanford University, which went from Indians to a tree (I think) as its mascot.

Of course, should Washington bow to pressure and make the change, the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland will likely have to do likewise.

And what about the Chicago Blackhawks, who use an image of a famous Indian chief?

I have no problem seeing the Confederate flag removed from most venues. After all, it’s an image that has represented hate and bigotry over the years.

But I have trouble with changing the names of military installations because of a vague connection to southern generals. Or tearing down statues of military leaders from both the North and South.

It’s all political posturing — this country in the midst of all sorts of more serious ills — doesn’t need right now.


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