National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media

Press Releases, Current Information and News from the National Coalition on Racism in Sport and Media

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

We need not give another recitation of past complaints nor engage in redundant dialogue of discontent. Our conditions and their cause for being should perhaps be best known by those who have written the record of America's action against Indian people. We seek a new American majority - a majority that is not content merely to confirm itself by superiority in numbers, but which by conscience is committed toward prevailing upon the public will in ceasing wrongs and in doing right. For our part, in words and deeds of coming days, we propose to produce a rational, reasoned manifesto for construction of an Indian future in America. If America has maintained faith with its original spirit, or may recognize it now, we should not be denied... Partial Preamble to the Trail of Broken Treaties Manifesto: October 31, 1972

Saturday, August 06, 2005

NCAA Mascot Decision-Email Responses

Following is a press release from the American Indigenous Coalition on Institutional Accountability regarding the NCAA mascot decision.

We have also posted emails that we received, some must be debated by those of you who are logging on. Please send us a copy of your responses to some of these emails at

Let's get some dialog going...and educate.



The American Indigenous Coalition on Institutional Accountability, a coalition of Indigenous organizations for social change wish to congratulate the NCAA for its position on the ban of offensive "Indian" stereotypes and mascots for academic institutions. We believe the NCAA's position is consistent with every major American Indigenous organization's perspective including - the National Congress of American Indians and the American Indian Higher Education that have publicly stated opposing offensive "Indian" stereotypes.

We however are greatly disappointed by media organizations such as AOL and Fox TV who are exploiting this issue by promoting "popularity polls." The use of "polls" is a divisive position that insults American Indigenous institutional positions. The polls are also misleading since Indigenous people are viewed as less than 5% of the population and therefore could have little impact upon these polls. We do not believe the media would conduct a similar poll for African and Jewish stereotypes because the mere suggestion of such a poll would be an insult to those communities.

We will plan to support the NCAA action by participating in an active campaign against the 18 institutions listed by the NCAA that will include.

1. Direct contact with potential student athletes who might be considering attending those 18 institutions,
2. Direct contact with NCAA member institutions requesting their support by not contracting to engage in athletic events with the named 18 institutions.
3. Direct contact with corporations requesting their support by not contracting to engage in sponsorships, events and products that promotes these institutions' stereotypes.
4. Support those academic institutions like the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin, who have policies of not scheduling athletic competitions with schools who use American Indigenous nicknames, imagery, and religious symbols or mascots.

It is time to stop playing games with American Indigenous culture and traditional values. As long as Non-Indigenous people continue to use these stereotypes in academic institutions and the sports industry this issue can not be resolved.

Matthew Deegan
You really need to do something about the Washington Redskins. It is second only to the Cleveland Indians mascot in terms of offensiveness. Imagine if the mascot was a Zulu warrior, and the team names was the Coloreds, or the Darkies. Or if it was an Aztec, and the name was the Wetbacks, or Spics. I don't think that would be tolerated, yet Redskins is celebrated. Why is that? Does money and power give the owner the right to be offensive?
Shane O’Connor
I am of Irish Decent, and having been brought up in Canada, I still recall my grandfather telling me of what a tough time it was to grow up Irish and many characterisations and jokes still abound - we were accused always fighting and having a violent nature - which I am sure you can identify with. Having now moved to the US I note that many people refer to the "Fighting Irish" of Notra-Dame. While I am sure that not many people realise what this nick-name refers to (although the University mentions the historic nation on their web-site) I find this patently offencive to my back-ground - no joke - and it does still promote a view that Irish are violent people - which I am sure continues in the face of news of the troubles in the UK.
Is there a way I too can get a campaign off the ground to have them change their really does offend me - what would you suggest?
Yours sincerely.
Shane O'Connor
There's nothing undignified about calling a team player a "Brave". Teams pickedIndian name specifically because it showed strength, courage, and bravery.You're all getting this wrong and you got to stop this nonsense.Rick McClelland

Todd Tronson
I just read the article on yahoo about your success in banning logos, references, etc. of American Indian Mascots in the NCAA.
I don't typically write to organizations when I read an article and disagree with their viewpoint. This time I was just awestruck. Your organization actually has a staff of people who's job it is to make sure that schools like Florida State, change their uniforms and logos. Who is really offended by this? I know it isn't the American Indian populous. It is a handful of busybodies like yourselves. Just because you have a loud voice, doesn't mean you speak for everyone you claim to represent.
I sincerely hope that you lose this battle when the schools appeal. Maybe fat people are offended by the name New York Giants. If you are offended by Braves, maybe we should stop New England from calling themselves the Patriots. As a Norwegian-American, I am not offended by the Vikings.
Please lighten up, go after real and true racism, or is that fight too hard to win.
And Yankees are people, not mascots. And Dolphins are fish, not mascots. And Patriots are heroes, not mascots. Mascots are supposed to be followed, to raise sentiments for teams. Mascots are not meant to demean. Do we not fly Jets anymore? Do we avoid Metropolitans areas (Mets)? How about those Angels?

Darin Mosier
What is next?? Are we going to go after Notre Dame becasue not all Irishmen are redheaded? Or how about Holy Cross.. Some people might consider the crusaders to be an offensive mascot.
If you would spend a little more time and money on the poverty issues of your people and a little less worrying about who has an Indian mascot maybe you would be a little better off.

Greg Racicot
I'm told my Great-Great-Grandmother was full blood Cherokee. I've always taken disproportional pride in my fractional Cherokee status. But now I feel that my pride has been misplaced. If the NCRSM and NCAA's intent is to garner respect for the tribes it has failed. If it's my respect you want take some of the billions of dollars your making from the Casino's and make forever history the rampant alcoholism, illiteracy and abject poverty I see when I visit the reservations. To be respected you must first make yourself respectable. Something tells me my Great-Great-Grandmother would agree.

Billy Blackmon
There is an issue more insulting than sports logos. Allowing tax free cigarette sales and the establishment of casinos on indian lands makes absolutely no sense. I wonder if you will take on a stand on a serious issue, especially cigarettes. I wonder if you believe that you should pay your fair share of taxes as well. Since alcohol and cigarettes are killing people much faster than any sports logo can I look forward to seeing your efforts to eliminate the tax advantages you enjoy peddling both? I kinda doubt it. I notice the recent scandal with a lobbyist. Your focus is silly and lacks courage to face real problems. When there is money involved you take the money.

Rich and Cheri
You are just a bunch of people with way to time on your hands. There is absulutly nothing wrong with Indian nicknames, such as Braves Warriors or even Indians. People are proud of there teams. Why do you never here of other ehtnic groups complaining. The Vikings scandanavian heritage or the running rebels of UNLV alarge portion of southern heritage, Or the Fighting Irish using a drunk fighting lepurachan probably of the most insulting. Here we have a high school team called the NORSKIES Norwiegn heritage. Do you here any of these people complain NO they are proud of there heritage and there teams. What are you not proud of your heritage or do you just look to cause problems.

Frank Clayton, DDS
You guys are pathetic, banning Indian mascots? Are there better issues to tackle? Next are you going to join with PETA and ban animal names? I’m ½ Native American, ½ Polish and I’m not crying a trail of tears or bitching about Germany, I’m moving on. You guys need to do the same –
Frank Clayton
Where do you people get off pretending to speak for the American Indian?
A current poll on USAToday supports the premise that you're a group of pompous asses that are pushing the agenda of political correctness.
Most Americans are caring people but could care less about "Politically Correct" issues. These are the type of issues that are denigrating American culture.
Larry Thompson
Staci Newell
You guys are pieces of shit that don't deserve to live. Seroiusly, you guys are probably white bastards that are from the 70's that couldn't get a job in our day so you decided to create an organization that pays you!! What lame ass bitches. Trying to push the NCAA to put sanctions on our beloved colleges, that is weak!! Florida's seminole community said it was cool to use the Seminole for Florida State. They are representing FLORIDA not the country. If our mascot for USA teams was a REDSKIN then I can see your point, but come on!! What's next, the Florida Gators can't be Gators because it puts alligators down! Or the Fighting Irish as putting down the IRISH! COME ON!! Get a life, get a real job you bitches and get off each other's dick! This is a free country and our schools should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want!!Peace,YOUR BRAIN!!

Eric Collis
Mr.(in this case using that term VERY loosely) Bellencourt just made a VERY embassing appearance on a national radio talk show, insulting Brian Cox by effectively calling him an "Uncle Tom". I can only hope that program was widely heard. Please do NOT bother to reply, for his commentary was the MOST offensive disply I have ever heard from one who "cloaks" himself in the colors of being opposed to racial stereotyping. I can assure you he has just placed your organization in the position of being a JOKE!
Eric R Collis
You idiots. You poor babies.
get a lifeSeth Groves
I am sorry; you people are so far out of line it is unbelievable. I am an American Indian, a Cherokee, who lives in the Midwest. But when people ask, I tell them that I am a born and bread AMERICAN. End of statement. I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan. I go to the games and do the "tomahawk chop". I am not offended by it, nor is my family. Why don’t you people spend time on issues that are a real problem? Things like under age drinking on campus, drug use on campus, things that are of a real concern. You make me sick. You are the ones who are disgracing the American Indian. We are a proud nation. Our warriors were fierce. And they are shown that way. I guess you want us to be portrayed as the drunk like on a lot of the older movies. Well, I am proud to stand up when I see a "warrior" on the field. You need to stop saying you are speaking for all American Indians. You did not call me and ask me how I felt about this. So let people know you are speaking for yourself. And by the way, it strikes me that you are very small minded. Keep your small minded thoughts to yourself.
Gary Gann

Tanya and Don Johnson
I have lost all respect for you and perhaps to all Indians.
I am sure your Fathers thank you.

Chris Smith
To Whom it may concern:I would like to take this oppurtunity to oppose the restrictions on"hostile" mascots in the NCAA sporting world. I truly believe thatno harm is being done to Native Americans over this protest. I findall people and students to be amazed at the journey we NativeAmericans have made when presented to them and should be proud of thename recognition. I think it is a great honor that any institutionrecongizes Native American cultures and uses a sporting name asreference to a difficult and hard traveled road. This meaning thatit is a reminder to the tragic history of all our people. I do notsee the Irish making a big deal of the "Fightin' Irish." $$VernonBellecourt$$ is traveling the United States weeping and moaning of"Hostile" emblems and such. Question? Who is PAYING for his travel?I you want to make a difference, educate the tribes in the UnitedStates with that money, donot bring embarrassment by making trouble when their is none.Fightin' Sioux, Fighting Chippewas, or Seminoles are a sign ofrelentlesscharacter in sports and I for one am very proud of them all. I understandthis from a coaching and teaching member of a tribe. If $$VernonBellecourt$$ wants to quit spending the money that he gets paid with totravel the nationand speak to people at tribes and helping them, it would be a great value.I believe Vernon Bellecourt is not worthy to respond to this, but if hedoes, I will gladly like to meet him.Sincerely,Christopher Lee Smith2350 South 34th st.Apartment #916Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201

Morgan Thompson
Your little push to get rid of Indian mascots is ridiculous. I'm more of an Indian than any of you AIM people will ever be. You're the ones that make us look bad. Not the mascots. What's done is done, get over it. Get your own tribes straightened out before you worry about something as meanless as a sports mascot. Its absurd that you people are more concerned with this nonsense than matters such as higher education funding and job placement for native americans. All you northern indians really make a bad name for the rest of us.

James Hanzelka
So the radical few finally got a a major organization like the NCAA to back the constant whinning about a lack of respect concerning the indian mascot issue.
Let me give you a different perspective, although like many minority issue groups I'm sure you don't really care because only your view counts. I grew up in Utah and spent many hours with the old western movies where the Indians were the bad guys and the only good indian was a dead indian. When I enrolled in the University of Utah in 1968 I began a four year exposure to the native american culture that I probably would not have gotten had the University been named the "cougars". I even had the opportunity to work and study with members of the local tribes. Once out of school I have had similar contacts with the local tribes and have grown to respect most of the local cultures. Again many of these fostered by the relationship between the University and the local tribes.
In the midst of all this the radical groups, like yours have provided a constant negative energy to this process. Spurious claims for land because you were driven from ancestral homes, when in most cases that is exactly how the current tribes acquired their supposed "ancesteral lands", inhibit a healthy discussion of the real issues affecting native americans today (poverty, alcoholism, and family problems). This latest "win" will only serve to futher alienate those of us who are in the process of attempting to understand and have come to respect the culture.
The second point is that like the white establishment who care little for what the local citizenry think the labeling of the Ute nickname as "offensive" disregards the local Ute Tribe council who have given permission to use the name. Quotes in the local paper clearly indicate that they feel your organization is out of touch with them as we feel the national representation is out of touch the needs and culture we enjoy
Perhaps it's better if we change the state name from Utah (since this is surely offensive also) back to DESERET, then we can choose the nickname of Calvarymen and use depiction of such events as wounded knee as the logo. So I guess if we change the logo and identification I'll just go back to rooting for the calvary.
Jim Hanzelka
Stansbury Park, UT

Stansbury Park, UT

John Strahsmeir

I have never seen a more racist group than the one that you people are representing. Schools are trying to honor the Indian culture and here you folks do not have the intelligence to understand it!
I hope that the latest NCAA ruling goes down in flames. It organizations like yours that destroy the valuable relationships to the past of Indian peoples.

Owen Williams

Being from Canada, I do NOT think the Florida State Seminoles and Atlanta Braves or anything else is 'offensive' and racist. By getting RID of those school names or team names, in 10 years time, people will FORGET about the American indian.
I know our situations are different, being north of the border, we have teams names for lacrosse such as North Shore Indians and Brooklin Redmen. It keeps people CONNECTED to the heritage. Maybe instead of getting rid of logos or 'tomahawk chops' why not EDUCATE the people instead?! because that's all it really is. People are not educated enough about the American indian.
I believe there are bigger issues for the American Indian than SPORTS teams names and logos.

Michael Farmer
I was discussing this issue with my friend Sven last night at our local pub. As you might have guessed, Sven is of Nordic descent. Myself, my name is Michael Patrick Dillon and my family is from Belfast. Both Sven and I think that your organization should take this fight up a notch and get behind a push to remove mascots from such teams as the Minnesota "Vikings" and Notre Dame's "Fighting Irish".

For my part, my family coming from war-torn Northern Ireland, it really PISSES ME OFF that such an esteemed institution as Notre Dame chooses a pugilistic leprechaun to represent them at sporting events. Think about it: (1) gives the impression that Irish people are quick to temper and quick to fight (2) it mocks "little people"...surprised the supporting cast of "Under the Rainbow", that fabulous 1981 Chevy Chase/Carrie Fisher vehicle haven't addressed this slight, and (3) the little guy is also SMOKING a pipe, something that could be viewed as both encouraging younger fans to smoke and -- I might be reaching here -- supporting "alternative" forms of tobacco.

Again, enough on our red brothers' beef about Indian-themed sports mascots. The rest of American -- and I hope in saying "Americans" we're not offending the descendants of Americus Vespucius -- have problems of our own.
Your a bunch of overgrown crybabies. Go fuck yourselves. Find a cause that means something. Idiots
Dale DudleyFootball FanOsage-Cherokee DecendentMedia Member

John Smith
am a quarter Cherokee Indian, and I could care lessif there are Indian mascots!!How about you talk with some real indians, I havenever heard of any indians upset about this!!!Cleveland Indians are my favorite team!!!I love the Florida State Seminoles!!!

Murray Rose
go screw yourself you PC bastards.
You are destroying the basic fundamentals of free speech that our great nation has been founded upon, however you will lose your fight. For thousands of years, great nations have conquered those who were weaker, strengthening the argument that "only the strong shall survive." Just as the American Indians had lost their fight to the more powerful European nations long ago, you too will lose. American Indians were conquered hundreds of years ago. If anything, you should be proud of the fact that Universities across the nations honor your people by using their names out of respect to history. Get a clue. Had the Indians won their fight long ago, we would not have this argument today. The strong survive, like it or leave it, but this is the United States of America. There is always Canada for you folks. Your fight again, will be lost!
Please stop trying to destroy the right of freedom of speech which makes our nation great. Your fight will be lost as millions of Americans are willing to stand and fight against your efforts! As a wealthy American, I will donate any amount of money neccesary to stop your efforts to destroy what this nation is founded upon. Maybe the tribes hundreds of years ago should have put up a better and stronger fight. The indians lost then, and we will see to it that your fight will be lost again! Thank you!
My gosh, isn’t it about time people lightened up. This is getting out of hand. Stop the madness. The mascots and names are not used to cause racism. If it were not for organizations such as yours people would think of them as mascots nothing more nothing less.

You all need to stop the madness and go get real jobs and become productive members of the United States.

Leave it alone already enough is enough.

Daniel C. Ford
What is the matter with you people. Instead of being proud of yourselves you act the opposite. I am part Indian and am very proud. When the school children have the love for their logos (whatever they are) and play their sports it is quite amazing to see the heart they have to do well. You people are trying to make everything so disgusting. All through my high school years we loved our Indian Logos and felt very proud and brave. No wonder the kids of today do not feel as much loyalty to their schools and sports as they used to. You are taking away their pride and spirit. You are making prejudice where there was none.
Barbara Tavalero
Carmichael, California
Brother and Sisters,
First of all it was hard to read trash about my brother Vernon or to hear anyone else slam my brothers! We know how the world is and always has been to us, looks like we still have alot of work to do! I'm proud to be one of the parents who continues to believe in the struggle and raise my children to stand up for their elders and our beliefs, not to sell out like so many of our other people have, that is sad, I remember the first time I ever heard Vernon speak and it made a strong impression on me. So remember, those of you who choose to speak out against your brother or sisters.......the circle will take care of you, YOU DECIDE!
These are men and women who chose to stand up and put their life on the line even today..... they are committed to protecting you and you should be ashamed of yourself for being so disrespectful who raised you anyway??????? The Devil himself? Cheri Haney

Dear Sir;

I would think your time could be better spent and making the reservations a more safe and nurtering enviorment,than going after sports teams that use proud Indian mascots.But as is always true follow the Money and that’s where the attention is.Oh I could argue the philosophy against your position but you will not listen.We are about to begin a campaign against such propoganda of using this agenda to further your own ends.Im quite sure you have no problem with casinos taking in money from those Racists,there we go again Money and attention.Selling oppresion to further your ends you should be ashamed.Jon Murray

To The Sun-Sentinel Editor:

I have read your article today, Saturday, August 6th and feel the arguments and complaints about using Indian symbols and names is about the dumbest action ever taken by members of the NCAA. One would assume these people have something more important to do with their time than think up problems that obviously, don't exist. Our country is becoming weaker by every "politically correct" notion and do-gooder's who try to find something to promote legal action and waste the time of intelligent Americans! Every Indian tribe in this country should feel grateful that these symbols and names exists. Mr. Bellecourt and the member of the NCAA Leadership Advisory Board should get lives and find something more productive to do with their time!

Gerald Katz
Weston, FL

Yes, I would like to submit a challenge to a major University for it's choices in Mascots. The University of Notre Dame has used a sexually provocative attired midget with his dukes up indicating that all any of us Irish ever want to do is fight. It insinuates that all Irishmen have an alternate lifestyle, are nutrionally deficient, and have an axe to grind with everyone because of these social challenges. Do you challenge all questionable mascots that reinforce stereotypes, or is it only the dignity of Native Americans you are conceerned with?Are yo concerned only with questionable names like Redskins or Savages, or do names like Braves and Seminoles offensive to you also? And is it okay to be called Aztecs but not Seminoles becaue they are Mexico's Native Americans and not the United States?Seriously, I would like those questions answered so I can get a feel about who you are, what your motives are, and if you protect ALL racial stereotyping and not just the ones of your choice.

I totally agree with your stand on schools using Indian mascots. Why would any school want to adopt an American Indian mascot? I much prefer white European mascots such as the Vikings or Celtic. These are proud, self reliant people that better reflect attributes of leadership and success. Keep up the good work of erasing American Indian culture from the public consciousness.

Re: NCAA Ban on Indian Mascots

Hey Vernon:

I get asked what is the big deal on the Indian mascots all the time. My rebut goes something like this:
" I know it is hard for you to understand since it is not easy emotionally to 'cross over to the other side of the street' so to speak. So, how would you feel as a white person if the Atlanta Braves was called the Atlanta Anglos and the chopping motion (now signifies a tomahawk?) signified anglos stabbing someone in the back?" This retort usually makes them angry and then you say, "see".


Jay Askew

I read today, where you were quoted by Sports Illustrated, indicating the NCAA actions were too soft regarding school mascots. What I think most offends you is the fact that Florida State University did more for the Seminole name in 55 years than any of your brother tribes could through out history.

Things in life often offend people. I can not really recall anything guaranteeing someone the 'right' not to be offended. If your neighbor offends you, you have two choices; tolerate it or move. If your local K-Mart® offends you, buy your goods elsewhere. If your local (or national) sports team offends you, watch something else. Play with the kids outside. Go for a picnic. Whining and bemoaning sounds too much like children pointing a finger saying "Little Johnny called me a name!", and has never been very becoming. Generally, it does little to extend your cause as well.

As a Florida State Alumni, I will always be known as a 'Seminole'. No disrespect intended. And yes, I will continue to support you by playing poker and bingo in your casinos.

As far as being 'Oppressed', your peoples' plight are a result of your own actions or inactions. To point to others and accuse them of holding you back is nothing other than a cop-out. You and your situation, has absolutely been unaffected by the fact that I wear a FSU Seminole logo. I imagine you got to where you are today by your sheer determination and will. The fact that you may display more or less initiative than your fellow man is inconsequential to me or my logo of choice.

In any case, I'm sure you're not much interested in the ranting of some clown in Florida so I'll leave you with this thought. I feel there is a reason some people still live in huts and tents and it's because it's the way they CHOOSE to live; NOT because because I called them a 'Chief', 'Warrior', 'Brave', or any other supposedly derogatory slur.


Fred Renault

Please…..What are “Hostile” or “abusive” uses of native American names or symbols?....and WHO is going to be the judge of what earns those adjectives and what doesn’t…you?, Russell Means?, the Bellacourt family?
Let’s take this out to the extreme, as you seem to want to do. I may decide that the word “Minnesota” is offensive. Can I demand that your state change its name? It IS an Indian word, you know. Or how about Wichita, Oklahoma, Iowa, Syracuse, White Cloud, Dakota?.....all offensive? By your group’s wandering standards, they just might be. What about an Irish Lepracon character?...Does that offend my Irish heritage? Don’t think so. I think it’s your group that needs the sensitivity training..or you need to get a life.
I suggest that you funnel your energy and time to improving the lot of your people and avoid pointless politics. There are so many more important things for you to do to in that area than to be worried about a cartoon character or the name of a sports team. Wish I could have a sports team named after my “people”…..I would like it! This crusade makes you look foolish. My acquaintances that are native American think it is much ado about nothing.

Larry Clum
Maize, KS


One Question. Who did you ask if native american mascots were offensive? Did you ask the tribal councils or did you just decide on your own? I agree that some names and mascots can be offensive. But don't generalize them as all bad. When you do that, you become a racist also. If the individual tribal councils don't have a problem with their tribal name being used, then back off. A loyal Utah alumni.


I am Cherokee, my dad was on the Cherokee council for years, and it seems to me that with the Indian names in sports, your organization is just looking for trouble where none exist. My old football team was called the Eagles..... is that demeaning to eagles? What is your point? Getting donations and media attention?

Dear Sirs:

I recently heard on NPR (National Peoples Radio) that the NCAA is banning the use of names or phrases that might be offensive to Native American Indians, such as Braves, Warriors, etc. This would apparently only apply during the playoffs. This is a classic example of political correctness run amuck! Are we so sensitive or thin skinned that the slightest innuendo might somehow be offensive to someone? Not being one, I have no idea what goes on inside the mind of a Native American. However, I think it would be safe to say that one would rather be referred to as brave rather that cowardly! Maybe not! People who raise these issues have way too much time on their hands.

There is hardly a phrase or name that could not in someway twisted way be interpreted in such a manner. About the only two mascot names I can randomly think of that would not offend anyone would “mosquito” or “roach”. I can just see it now on the sports page; Mosquitoes buzz Roaches 21-3 or Roaches trample then eat Mosquitoes 34-0. But wait! Maybe we should consult PETI (People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects) and find out if the roaches or mosquitoes would be offended?

Have you really nothing better to do than attempt to trample the American Culture under foot? If this is your agenda, please be honest and say so.

Kim Brown
Ransom Canyon, TX

I applaude you in your fight against negativedepictions of native Indians in this country. Myquestion is how do you counter the argument of some ofthose that say this is just political correctness gonebeserk?


Bruce C. Wong Esq.

As a proud member of the Comanche Nation and supporterof the American Indian Movement, I was shocked Fridayafternoon to hear Vernon Bellecourt on the SportsDrive with Chris Meyer. Mr. Bellecourt did a completedisservice to the cause of the American Indian.According to your web site, "[t]he National Coalitionon Racism in Sports and Media exists to fight thepowerful influence of major media who choose topromulgate messages of oppression. The impetus whichformed NCRSM was the clear case of media couplingimagery with widely held misconceptions of AmericanIndians in the form of sports team identitiesresulting in racial, cultural, and spiritualstereotyping."I think if you want to fight misconceptions thatresult in racial, cultural, and spiritualstereotyping, you should treat others how you want tobe treated. Any actions less than that constituteshypocrisy and reveals a lack of integrity.On the show, Mr. Bellecourt referred to Irish peopleas drunks and specifically used the word cracker aswell as other colorful language and/or epithets todescribe another ethnicity and/or race. In case youdid not know, "cracker" is a disparaging term for apoor white person. This action is unacceptable for arepresentative of the American Indian to use on anational radio show. Even if Mr. Bellecourt was being tongue in cheek, itreflects poorly on AIM and the American Indian. Howcan someone that uses racial epithets and name callingof other individuals being taken seriously? He cannotand will not. He did not get his point across and heis merely clown, which garnered laughs at the expenseof the true purpose of AIM. Please refrain from allowing Mr. Bellecourt torepresent AIM and the American Indian in the future. He surely does not represent my interests and theinterests of my family members and ancestors. Heshould be removed immediately from representing AIMand the interests of the American Indian as soon aspossible.Thank you

Sirs and Madams,Hopefully the above salutation does not offend anyone in your organization.As an American whose ancestry includes a significant amount of Seminole Indian blood, as well as Cherokee Indian, I will tell you that your stance on this college football name issue is an insult to my heritage. My mother and grandmother are both very proud to have the Florida State football team be known as the Seminole. The white race has tried to eliminate us and failed in the past, and we will watch as it happens again.Your position is arrogant and foolish. A bad combination.Jack Smith

I must say, that you people are idiots and talk about ignorance!!!. My heritage is American Indian and I am very proud of that fact but am not in the least embarrassed by having Indians as mascots and have never ever thought anything derogatory about this issue. Why don’t you spend your time with something better, there are certainly better ways to help the Indians than this. This will accomplish absolutely nothing except to make people hate you more because you are actually hurting the Indians.
The Indians have certainly been treated worse than having them as mascots, and I find that being a mascot is a compliment and an honor to the Indians and makes me proud to have that heritage.
My Indian family was on the Trail of Tears and that was a horrible time in history.
Carol Lanier
Atlanta Georgia