The American Psychological Association wants to eliminate the use of American Indian mascots, contending they create stereotypes and damage self-esteem.
“American Indian mascots are harmful not only because they are often negative, but because they remind American Indians of the limited ways in which others see them,” Stephanie Fryberg of the University of Arizona said in a statement. “This in turn restricts the number of ways American Indians can see themselves.”
In August, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) said it would ban the use of Indian mascots and images deemed “hostile” or “abusive” at all national championship events.
The NCAA has since removed three schools – the Florida State Seminoles, Utah Utes and Central Michigan Chippewas – from the original list of 18 offenders. The Illinois Fighting Illini and Bradley Braves have appeals pending with the NCAA.
One school, North Dakota, nicknamed the Fighting Sioux, had its initial appeal rejected. The university is expected to file a second appeal this month.
The American Psychological Association has more than 150,000 members and is based in Washington, DC.