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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Decision delayed on Indian team names and logos


The logo for the North Quincy Red Raiders


The sportsmanship committee of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the ruling body of high school sports in the state, wants to take more time to consider whether to encourage schools to drop their Indian-themed team names and logos.

Dozens of schools around the state have team names like "Redmen," "Warriors," or "Chieftains" and use depictions of fierce or ridiculous Indians, tomahawks, or arrows as their logos. Sometimes fans will wear Indian regalia to games.

For years, Native American advocates have urged the schools to drop the names and images, but their efforts have gone mostly unheeded.

At a meeting this afternoon, the sportsmanship committee reviewed responses from a survey of athletic directors whose teams have Indian names or logos. Most of the ADs said the names or logos hadn't drawn much discussion and they felt there was nothing offensive about them.

The committee said it will take more time to consider the issue and will discuss it again at the May meeting.

The most recent push was prompted by an effort at Natick High School to stop using the Redmen team name. The School Committee plans to make a decision on that issue after a public hearing in March.

Read more about the ontroversy in Natick and in communities throughout the state in today's Globe West and Globe South.

--John C. Drake

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