Editorial: To honor Indians, pick a new name
Natick's Indians played a large role in the events leading up to King Philip's War, the bloody conflict that cemented the domination of English colonials over the Indian tribes of New England. The Praying Indians were allies of the English, and the scouting by some Natick Indians played a direct role in the defeat of Philip, the sachem who led the revolt.
But as Philip's men destroyed settlements west of Boston, the English turned on the Praying Indians. They were imprisoned in Natick in 1675 and sent off to Deer Island in chains, where hundreds died. Things didn't get better after the war. They were cheated out of their lands, some sold into slavery and some murdered. One account notes the summary execution in 1676 of an Indian named Captain Tom on the spot where Jordan's Furniture now stands.
No, supporters aren't totally oblivious to real Indians. They may be 99.9% oblivious, but you can't say they're totally oblivious. One of them may have thought about a real Indian once.
What Redmen supporters are really doing is puffing up themselves by puffing up the people they defeated. "See how great those Indians were? We're just like them, except better. We're even greater warriors than the Indians because we triumphed over them."
When Natick restores the Praying Indians' stolen land or pays reparations to them, then I'll believe they care about Indians. Until then, no.
For more on the subject, see Smashing People: The "Honor" of Being an Athlete. Also see my comments at the end of the original article.
Below: More "redmen" mascots.