Magazine article Insight on the News

Fightin' Whities More Frisky Than Fierce. (Education)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Fightin' Whities More Frisky Than Fierce. (Education)

Article excerpt

Go ahead, Washington, keep your Redskins. Florida State can have its Seminoles, and Atlanta its Braves, because the University of Northern Colorado has the Fightin' Whities.

Frustrated by a lack of success in ridding the sports world of Indian nicknames, several members of the university's Native American Student Services in Greeley, Colo., decided to fight mascot with mascot, inventing the Fightin' Whities to represent the school's intramural basketball team. The team's players, who include American Indian, Hispanic and Caucasian students, now wear T-shirts emblazoned with a cartoon depicting an Ozzie Nelsonera man in suit and tie with the caption, "Every thang's gonna be all white!"

"We thought, `Let's just turn the tables on them,'" says Solomon Little Owl, director of the university's Native American Student Services and a member of the team. "We disagree with Native American caricatures in sports logos, but when we raise the issue, people say, `Oh, it's not derogatory, it's meant to honor you.' So we decided to show them how it feels."

But the tactic backfired, in a way. …

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