Monday, October 8, 2007
Why do we tolerate this?
Growing up in West Virginia with a dad who was glued to our television from season to season and sport to sport, I developed an early loathing for televised athletics. (We only had one TV at that time, back in the dark ages.) What might now be called my interest, maybe bordering on mania, for professional sports derived from being a resident of two very big sports towns during years when the city teams were in playoff contention. I became a Yankees fan during the early years of Derek Jeter, when the Yankees were not only the best team but the best looking team in MLB. (Remember Bernie Williams?) Although they're not as flashy, the nice guys of the Philadelphia Phillies have slowly won my heart and in their worst days caused me to lose sleep.
But I'm not really blogging today to lament a disappointing NLDS for the Phillies. I am simply posing a question for all reasonable people of good will - Why do we continue to support teams with names like "Indians," "Braves," and "Redskins"? Why especially do black people, many of whom still do not eat watermelon in public because of the caricature of our people, tolerate the Sambo-like logo of the Cleveland Indians?
I am rooting against the Indians tonight since they are on the verge of eliminating the Yankees. But I always root against them because of the racist image that dons their uniforms, even after years of protest from Native Americans and their allies. And by the way, I'm not celebrating Columbus Day either.