September 15, 2009

UVa apologizes for "Tribe" video

Indian depiction prompts apology from UVa officialThe University of Virginia’s director of athletics has apologized for a video shown at UVa’s football game against the College of William & Mary that some found demeaning to American Indians.

In a letter published Monday in the student-run Cavalier Daily, Craig Littlepage said he regrets airing the pre-game video that depicted UVa’s mascot, “Cavman,” facing off against an American Indian representing William & Mary’s mascot, the Tribe.

“This video resurrected an old debate—and an even older stereotype—by the use of a demeaning and childish caricature of an American Indian,” Littlepage wrote. “This is a stereotype that all of us know is a sad relic of a time when many, perhaps most, Americans misunderstood American Indians and their proud heritage, largely because of media images not unlike the one in the Cavman video last week.

“We are sorry that the video insulted persons whose history and culture are essential parts of our national heritage. The video was sadly uninformed, and the Athletic Department regrets that it aired. It has been removed from the department’s Web site.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

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