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The Use Of American Indian Images As Sports Mascots The Focus Of New Exhibit At Freedom Center

Provided, , the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The call for athletic programs to stop using representations of American Indians as team names and mascots began in the 1960s, and just last week, President Obama once again publicly urged professional and school programs to change names that are considered offensive. But many feel the use of American Indian symbols in sports is more than offensive.

Mascots, an exhibit that opened Saturday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, explores the history of mascots depicting American Indians in athletics, and addresses the current debate of team names and cultural appropriation.

Here to discuss the exhibit and how these mascots foster stereotypes and contribute to prejudice are National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Executive Vice President & Provost, Dr. Michael Battle; Cheyenne Elder Dennis Limberhand; and, Xavier University Director for Photography, Marketing & Communications, Gregory E. Rust.

Mascots opened November 7 at the Freedom Center and will continue through the Spring of 2016. The exhibit is curated by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in partnership with Xavier University. To learn more about the exhibit, click here

Maryanne Zeleznik is responsible for all news and public affairs programming at WVXU. She also hosts Morning Edition Monday through Friday.