Hundreds Of Schools Are Still Using Native Americans As Team Mascots

And though the Washington Football Team abandoned its name, 45 schools have kept the slur.

Excellent article from FiveThirtyEight: Thanks to Jeffrey March for forwarding to our attention.

Native mascots exist in every level of sports, from high school basketball courts to billion-dollar stadiums. While high-profile teams like Washington and the Cleveland Indians may come to mind first, most Native American mascots are used in secondary schools. Although the number has been shrinking, there are currently 1,232 high schools with Native American team names, according to my analysis of data from MascotDB. That includes 411 Indians and 107 Chiefs or Chieftains, and there are still 45 schools that bear the former name of the Washington Football Team.

To arrive at those numbers, I pulled Mascot DB’s full list of Native-associated team names and logos and reviewed them all. I researched any potentially ambiguous team names and weeded out any that did not directly reference Native culture or imagery — for example, teams called the Warriors were excluded unless they also pictured an Indigenous person or use imagery like feathers — and removed any teams that had changed their branding since they were added to Mascot DB. The remaining 1,232 schools, then, are just those that clearly reference Native culture in their name or logo.

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