Colleges decline to compete against UND because of Fighting Sioux nickname

Categories: Racism, Sports
fighting sioux.jpg
UND's Fighting Sioux nickname violates NCAA rules.
The University of North Dakota's athletic teams will be known as the Fighting Sioux at least until June, when a referendum may determine whether the school keeps the nickname permanently.

But, referendum or not, some of UND's traditional competitors have already had enough of the Fighting Sioux, and are refusing to compete against the school until the nickname is changed.

Regardless of what you think about the controversial nickname, the fact of the matter is that the NCAA sanctions schools with tribal logos and/or nicknames, including UND, that are deemed to be "hostile and abusive."

Such nicknames can only be used if a school gets permission from the relevant Native American communities. In UND's case, that means getting approval from both the Standing Rock Sioux and the Spirit Lake Sioux, but so far, the Standing Rock tribe has refused to consent.

So, in using the Fighting Sioux nickname, UND is currently violating NCAA rules. And as Valley News Live reports, some athletic programs have already refused to compete against UND until the Fighting Sioux is no more.

Softball with Wisconsin is off the books, a track meet with Iowa won't happen, as is a men's hockey game at Wisconsin. A cross-country meet at Minnesota and women's basketball with Iowa have been canceled. The Valley News reports that "men's hockey with Minnesota could also go by the wayside."

Brian Faison, UND's athletic director, said that banishing UND from Division One hockey because of the nickname controversy "would be disastrous" for the school's athletic department.

Leave Division One or change the nickname? That seems to be the choice facing UND, regardless of the referendum's outcome.

Related coverage:
-- UMD hockey fans warned after "smallpox blankets" chant during Fighting Sioux series
-- Fate of UND's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname may be determined by referendum

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12 comments
Risespecialist
Risespecialist

Well, I believe that all of the Sioux nations need to vote on this decision as the Sioux people have been a people to fight for their rights as it has shown in this fight. But while the name is somewhat true in this, anyone would fight for their own dignity. This is difficult story but if the Sioux nation were from the Jewish community and the name of the school were the Jewing Jews, or the Jesus Dogooders,  the name would have been changed a long time ago. We need to be sensative to all people's and cultures and the lie of creating false images of these cultures. We need to work work together. What I am saying is that we created images of people that destroy.

Thor Gulbronsen
Thor Gulbronsen

I grew up in Grand Forks. To this day I have never been able to figure out why so many white people are obsessed with keeping this nickname. 

Lawhite2010
Lawhite2010

Why is this offensive? I mean, we have the Vikings, right? Are all Norse offended? I think this has gone way too far and people should be proud of their heritage, and honored if a sports team is named after them. I think Fighting Sioux is something that speaks of the Native Americans' spirit. Though Sioux might be offensive - maybe Fighting Dakota would be better. And the logo, well, the logo kicks butt.

eddison72
eddison72

Um, there is a global threat of theocratic fascism on our shores. Western enlightenment principles are at stake. Is it really prudent to be bickering about a sports team's mascot?

Likewildfire
Likewildfire

They should get rid of the Fighting Irish nickname/logo too, especially since that logo is actually offensive.

Arnie
Arnie

I am no expert, but it may be this:  In American history, thousands of native people were slaughtered and relocated off of land that they had inhabited for generations.  One of the justifications for doing so was that the natives were "savages."  So it may very well be that Standing Rock and other groups, the name is a harsh reminder of the past that conscripted them to reservations and caused the deaths of their ancestors.

To my knowledge, the same fate did not befall Vikings or the Irish.

I suppose that if a significant number of Vikings or Irish really objected--as a number of Sioux apparently have--it might be appropriate to change the names of those teams as well.

I am 33 year old white guy and, aside from being a UND alumnus, I don't really have a dog in the fight.  I didn't really think about when I played for UND.  But one of the guys in my National Guard unit, who is a member of the Lakota Nation, explained his objection in the terms I described above.  Out of respect for him and others who feel the pain of the past, I think changing a name seems kind of a decent thing to do. 

I hope that helps explain it.

Cookies
Cookies

I don't look at it in a negative way. It is a part of history. I would be proud of it. It is sad how people have to find a way to make everything in to a issue.

Harrumph!
Harrumph!

 Please stop watching Fox News. You will be better informed by doing so. There's actually studies out proving that.

Guest
Guest

Offensive to whom?  Leprechauns?

HotLunch
HotLunch

If that truly is your Lakota friend's story, that's unfortunate he thinks that way. I think if I were in the Dakota's shoes, I'd look at it like "we went down, but we went down fighting. At least they are recognizing us instead of forgetting." If they don't wish to have the recognition, I guess that's their perogative.

Research
Research

They're bored.  Plain & Simple.

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