The hottest ticket in U.S. college basketball this season might turn out to be a match between the Fighting Whities and the North American Stealers.
The pride of the University of Northern Colorado, the Whities won only two games in their intramural basketball league last year, but their idea of turning the tables on schools with American Indian mascot names has spread like wildfire.
Students at a handful of colleges across the rural West and Indian country are considering forming their own Fighting Whities-style intramural teams this season, inspired by the success of the team, first planned as “the Fightin’ Whities,” in drawing national media attention to the mascot issue.
“There’s talk about whether we want to start a Fighting Whities team ourselves. We’re working on it,” said Monique Volland, a law student at the University of North Dakota who works at the school’s Native Media Center.
Publicity about the Fighting Whities gave a boost to those who have lobbied for years to change the name of the University of North Dakota’s mascot, the Fighting Sioux.
“It was huge when [the Whities] first came out,” she said. “We recognize they’ve added to our support. They’ve drawn a lot of attention to the issue.”
Inspired by the Whities, North Dakota students created a stir in October with an art exhibit at the university’s International Center. The show displayed dozens of jerseys from hockey, football and other sports, some real and some with mock names such as the “North American Stealers,” “Wounded Knee Crusaders” and “Cleveland Honkies.”
A few were more incendiary, such as one showing a hooded Klansman under the name “Atlanta White Devils” and the “Vatican City Popes ‘n’ Pedophiles.”
Source: The Washington Times