We want to use the nickname because it’s something we’re proud of. We want to keep Native American history alive. The Sioux have always been known as courageous warriors. That’s what we’re trying to convey; we’re fighters, we’re strong, we go after what we believe in.
Here's an a comment on Facebook and my response:
'I hate to see it go'
Sioux players are disappointed, but not totally surprised by the announcement.
By Kevin Fee
“For some of us, no matter what they do, we’re always going to be Sioux.”
UND football safety Joel Schwenzfeier says Sioux players had been warned that the nickname-logo could be retired. He had witnessed some of the Sioux gear, such as travel sweats and workout uniforms, being issued without the logo and nickname on it.
And the Sioux football jerseys won’t have the logo on them next fall.
“We’ve kind of had to deal with it our whole time here, so we’ve kind of adapted, adjusted,” Schwenzfeier said. “Initially, it’s going to be tough. I think eventually it will bury itself in the ground.”
He says the nickname is used with respect.
“It’s never used as a negative term,” he said. “It’s usually the other teams or other institutions that slander it.”
It's ridiculous to think the name creates the warrior attributes in UND's players. Rather, the players imagine themselves as warriors and then link the feelings back to the name. In other words, the name is an ex post facto justification for the team's warrior mentality.
Schwenzfeier also has a point: that UND eventually will forget about their mascot worship. But it's funny to hear him talk as if there's been a death in the family. It's a freakin' sports name, people. UND could eliminate its entire sports program and it would have no consequences for the rest of the world.
But his point about other people slandering Indians is really the activists' point. The NCAA didn't rule that the nickname itself was "hostile and abusive." It ruled that it created a "hostile and abusive" environment. That includes other teams insulting the Fighting Sioux even if UND doesn't.
This hostility and abusiveness is pretty much inherent in the idea of using living people as sports mascots. People are going to commercialize the name. They're going to insult it. They're going to step on it and spill drinks on it. In short, they're going to trivialize real people by making them into a team's plaything--the equivalent of a pet poodle or Oscar Mayer wiener.
Some history should make this attitude clear. Until recently, most schools with mascots had cringe-inducing logos and performing "Indians" with "funny" names. That they changed these things is good, but the past tells the tale. Most Indian mascots were created to be clownish cartoons, not revered symbols of respect and honor. People emphasized the "respect and honor" argument only after their previous rationalizations failed.
Family of Ralph Engelstad 'deeply disappointed' by 'lack of conviction'
The Ralph Engelstad family is upset with the State Board of Higher Education’s decision to accelerate the deadline for tribal approval of UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname, according to a statement the family’s foundation issued Friday.
"I am deeply disappointed that the State Board and President Kelley are not committed to retaining the Fighting Sioux name and logo," said Kris Engelstad McGarry, daughter of the builder of Ralph Engelstad Arena on campus. "However I can't say that I’m surprised by their lack of conviction. This is a sad day for North Dakota."
Boo-hoo, Engelstad family. Don't cry too much on the way to the bank. Looks like the mascot foes' convictions proved to be strong than your
For more on the subject, see Fighting the Fighting Sioux.
Below: The big-nosed Indian chief who represented UND until recently.