"That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally 'hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting," Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said in a statement.Actually, as this photo reveals, Florida State fans seem intent on making sure their university is forever associated with the "fabulous" spirit of Studio 54 of New York.
"I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the 'unconquered' spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida," he added.
To be sure, this is a complicated issue. There are, I think, some team names in sports that are long due for a changing. The Washington Redskins are a pretty obvious one. Not exactly a name cherishing the culture, right? It'd be like having a team named the Dallas Darkies or the San Francisco Slanteyes. Those are offensive as hell, but "Redskins" isn't? And don't get me started on the Hogettes. Yeesh.
While not nearly as offensive as the Redskins, the Cleveland Indians aren't far behind. Again, think of the equivalents. It's hard to imagine we'd still have a major league team with a name like the Nashville Negroes or the California Chinamen. It's even harder to believe that such a team would also have a racially-stereotyped mascot like the grinnin'-and-jivin' Chief Wahoo. "And hey, Buck, here's our beloved Uncle Tom to lead the seventh-inning stretch!"
Other pro teams come close, I suppose, like the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Chiefs, though I find it harder to get worked up about them. And then another level down the scale, there are college nicknames based on specific Native American nations, like the Illinois Illini or the FSU Seminoles. Admittedly, it's probably insulting to have a drunken 19-year-old white-bread suburbanite named Trevor doing a poor imitation of your ancestral dance at halftime. But in the grand scheme of things, it's probably not the worst thing they've ever experienced.
Or maybe it is. Hard to tell.