Louis Sockalexis and the Right to Use Native American Imagery in Sports: The Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo

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Southern New Hampshire University
Native American imagery has been used for mascots, logos, and team names for almost two centuries. Many teams state that this is honoring the history of the Native American. Teams have utilized Native American Athletes for the reasoning behind their team name and logo. However, this imagery is often times raciest and contributes in offensive and historically inaccurate betrayals of Native Americans to be formed. The honoring of Native Americans continues to go on especially in the world of athletics, in local school districts, colleges/universities, and professional teams. This usage of Native American imagery helps to maintain the cultural and historical aspects of these important peoples. Throughout the research many sources have been located and utilized. Local newspaper articles and other local references have been an important contribution. Over the past several decades, research has been completed in regards to Native American imagery being used for sports teams. This research has helped to support the thesis of the following paper. The following paper leaves a mark in Cultural, Social, Political, and Sports history. It has contributed to the progress that has been made in Native American sports research. The conclusion of the following shows how important it is to honor Native Americans. It also shows the importance of the Chief Wahoo logo and the team name of the Indians to Clevelanders. The following research shows just how much Native American history and imagery has influenced the world of sports. There are aspects that should change when using these Native American images.