NY Schools Banned From Calling Teams Warriors, Chiefs, Braves, Using Native American Mascots
Carl Campanile and Jesse O’Neill, New York Post, April 18, 2023
Public school teams in New York will soon be barred from calling themselves names like the Warriors, Chiefs, Redmen or Braves following a Tuesday ruling by Albany education honchos.
The Board of Regents, which presides over the state’s education department, voted to phase out Native American-related nicknames as part of a politically correct national effort to scrub racially insensitive imagery from sports teams.
Nearly 60 school districts will be required to “eliminate” all use of Indigenous-related mascots and imagery by the end of the 2024-2025 school year, or risk losing state aide, board members unanimously ruled.
The new ban, supported by the Shinnecock Indian Nation and Oneida Indian Nation, does not apply to tribal schools, education officials said.
Groundwork for the new changes had been laid out long before the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians changed their names to the Commanders and Guardians respectively in 2022.
The state’s former education commissioner Richard Mills asked schools “to end the use of Native American mascots as soon as practical” back in 2001.
However, at least 133 schools in 55 districts still had native-themed mascots as of March 2022, according to a report by the National Congress of American Indians.
Mills claimed the mascots “can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community and
improving academic achievement for all students.”
Some schools voluntarily heeded his request and retired their mascots, while others schools declined.
Many parents and students in some districts feel like their team’s nicknames pay homage to the rich Native American heritage of the state and the Iroquois tribal confederacy from which countless town names are derived.
New York follows 20 other states which have moved to restrict Indigenous-related monikers at the high school level.
Upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik blasted the ban on tribal nicknames as wokeness run amok.
In her district, this ruling would impact Native American symbols at Cambridge Central School District, Fonda-Fultonville Central School District, and Glens Falls City School.
“Upstate New York and the North Country take pride in our history and forcing them to replace these historical mascots is prioritizing the Far Left mob at the expense of our students’ education,” Stefanik said.