The Change the Mascot campaign has issued a statement applauding US Lacrosse for its position statement against Native American mascots.
In a statement, Change the Mascot leader and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter thanked the governing body “for its strong stance against the use of degrading Native American mascots. It is heartening to see a national sports league recognize the harmful impact that these names and images can have not only on Native American youth, but also on our society as a whole.”
The action by US Lacrosse “is indicative of a larger movement taking place across the country to reject the use of hurtful and derogatory mascots,” according to the campaign. “Steps to end the ‘mascotization’ of Native people have already been taken in countless school districts, cities, states, and within other professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball.
In its statement, US Lacrosse said: “As the sport’s national governing body, US Lacrosse believes that the misuse of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots reflect and promote misleading stereotypes that are degrading and harmful to Native Americans. We will make every effort to assure that offensive or stereotypical mascots and logos will not be visible or promoted at events that US Lacrosse controls.”
Change the Mascot bills itself as “a grassroots campaign that works to educate the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word. This civil and human rights movement has helped reshape the debate surrounding the Washington team’s name and brought the issue to the forefront of social consciousness.
“Since its launch, Change the Mascot has garnered support from a diverse coalition of prominent advocates including elected officials from both parties, Native American tribes, sports icons, leading journalists and news publications, civil and human rights organizations and religious leaders.”