UMD hockey fans warned after "smallpox blankets" chant during Fighting Sioux series

Categories: Racism
UMD hockey fans.jpg
Duluth News Tribune
UMD student hockey fans have a proud tradition of making asses of themselves.
University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey student season ticket holders have been warned they could have their season tickets confiscated if they repeat the ugly behavior displayed during a series against the University of North Dakota earlier this month.

The series came just days after UND readopted the controversial Fighting Sioux nickname, and UMD fans were apparently in the mood to fight controversy with controversy.

During a February 11 game, UND fans visiting Duluth for the series reported that they heard fans in UMD's student section chanting "smallpox blankets" and other racist phrases at UND's mascot.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that some North Dakota fans were offended by the "over the top" behavior, while others played it down as indicative of the fact that "everybody has a few silly fans." But Bob Nielson, UMD's athletic director, is determined to make sure student ticket holders tone it down.
Thumbnail image for fighting sioux.jpg
"Smallpox blankets! clap*clap*clapclapclap" -- UMD fans.

Last week, he sent a letter to student season ticket holders characterizing the smallpox blankets chant as "hostile and racist" and said a repeat of such behavior in the future could result in immediate removal from the arena.

If the past is precedent, then ushers better be prepared to start yanking students from UMD games. In 2009, UMD student fans received a similar warning from the AD after they chanted "faggot" during a game against Minnesota State-Mankato.

Apparently, cultural sensitivity isn't a popular topic up at UMD.

Related:
-- Fate of UND's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname may be determined by referendum

My Voice Nation Help
65 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Marilyn Wounded Head
Marilyn Wounded Head

I wish the people that want to keep the mascot and "Fighting Sioux" nickname could be in attendance at these games when this behavior occurs. Could anyone really stop racist behavior since this type of behavior began with their grandparents? 

Tigs
Tigs

Fu&$. Minnesota ! Racist bastards

Jonty
Jonty

I lived there and was sickened by many things !!! I moved back to the NW

Guest11
Guest11

Could the writer of this blog be any more rediculous and uninformed?  You clearly have never been to a UMD hockey game and know nothing about college hockey.  Yes, the chant was inappropriate and I'm sure the people who started it did not think of the impact it could have on others....not the first time this has happened at an athletic event and it won't be the last.  However, to generalize all UMD student hockey fans by saying "UMD student hockey fans have a proud tradition of making asses of themselves" is just as ignorant of a statement as you are saying the chants were.

Try writing about something know you actually know about next time.  Anyone can write an extremely biased and closed minded article after doing a Google search.  I now understand why this is my first (and last) visit to this site...

Georgialarsen
Georgialarsen

 Dear Guest 11; Per your following statement " I now understand why this is my first (and last) visit to this site... Try writing about something know you actually know about next time."  You just don't and won't get it.. Karma .....Thank God for small miracles that you've chosen not to visit these pages anymore.

Guest11
Guest11

Just don't get it and won't get it?  Where did I say these chants are acceptable?  I simply said the writer took this ONE EXAMPLE and villified the entire UMD student/alumni base.  As an alumni, I took offense to this extreme generalization.

I would honestly say most of the commenters need to get off their high horses and realize they are being just as bad as the people they are condemming.  Everyone on here is taking the words/actions of a few COLLEGE STUDENTS at an athletic event and saying they represent everyone not only at that school, but in the entire state of MN.  How do they actions of (at most) a few hundred students represent the beliefs of over 4 million Minnesotans?  This is simply rediculous.

This is not only responding to you, but also to Tigs' comment.

Georgialarsen
Georgialarsen

Dear Guest: Out of all of the comments made here, which as an Elder Native Woman grieves me deeply and which I find  so depressing...so many, yet not all...( thank goodness!!!!), people remain so ill informed, are not connected, and perhaps do not even care to know  this country's history. If one takes just a moment and googles "Smallpox and American Indian's" one's comprehenson and  understanding  of just how foul, hateful, hurtful, racist and cruel such commentary is might just occur.Your comments come closely to pointing out some aspects of historical fact. Such comments and behaviors as exhibited in this article are sadly a reflection of our times, not only in this country but across the planet I wish if only for a moment that those uttering such unimaginble words and those many who are of a like mind, could for one instance be transported back in time and "be there" in one of those moments when those deliberately infestedgerm/genocidal" blankets were being "given as gifts of goodwill and Friendship to the First Peoples of this land (in the quest/conquest for the land and its resources) and takes one of those "Small pox blankets" (chant... chant) Think about it,.... some of you out there must be aware of what happens when there is no immunity to ahorrible disease as it was the case at the turn of the century for all humans on the planet...... Mothers, Fathers, sisters, Brothers, nieces, nephews DIED!!! THEY DIED!!! This is a part, only a part of our great country's shameful, shameful history ...Make no mistake about it this... and make no mistake in acknowledging that ignorance, smallmindedness, brainlessness, lack of compassion and integrity and the education of some of our youth in some measure is being squandered...See MoreLikeUnlike · · 5 hours ago

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

if they went back in time they would be the ones handing out the blankets and being rewarded for it

Lmelton46
Lmelton46

Clearly it is the University of North Dakota that is racist.  The term Sioux means snake, and it is VERY inappropriate and quite simply racist.  So why is it racist for the students to talk about small pox filled blankets, which by the way is true, but its not racist for UND to call themselves by a racist name?

Hard Rock Miner
Hard Rock Miner

My nephew is 15 years old.  He plays hockey on the Iron Range.  My brother moved his family back "home to the range" after 10 years in WI as our mother is elderly and infirm.  At a recent hockey game the "booster" section of a range town, (starts with an H) consisting of students and adults repeatedly yelled "go back to Wisconsin" to my nephew.  See my nephew is a goalie and our team was beating them, we did win the game too!   Bad behavior and bad taste are inexcusable.  Yelling racist taunts however are legitimate grounds for being suspended, losing season tickets, and the Duluth students should formally apologize.  You can't fix stupid.

j.white
j.white

This could only be done to Indians, if it was the blacks, reverend Al Sharpton and the NAACP would be waving their black asses all over the television!

anishinaabekwe
anishinaabekwe

The entire exchange is fueled by lack of education and compassion.  Individuals made these choices: to create the mascot, to continue using the mascot, to yell mean things at a hockey game, to allow it to continue even though many have said "stop it, you're hurting my people" etc etc  it goes on & on.  and yes, there are many "to blame".  In the end, we can only control our own choices & actions.  The Creator will deal with it in due time.  It all comes back to you - every last thing.  As individuals we act and as individuals we make amends for those actions which cause harm.  This is what my elders have said and I believe them.

geraldine
geraldine

After reading everyones comments I realized how some of the caucasion race just don't get it, Your people murdered the original inhabitants because you considered our race indispensible and you shout stupid things like "small pox blankets" What the hell are you all thinking you are supposed to be educated people, your being educated to go out into the world and teach other people, what does this say for you people at this educational system of yours what makes you think for one minute those words don't hurt I am currently writing a book about my great grandmother who survived this atrosity. What makes you think what happened was in any way ever to be reminded to the descendents in this mean ignorant manner. Shame on all of you people who consider this is okay and we should just forget it, and let it go. I personally feel completely and utterely disgusted. Shame on all of you who were involved SHAME ON YOU ALL. I hate to think where you got that horrible attitude from but I need not ask so SHAME ON YOUR PARENTS AS WELL. for raising you all with that hatred and ignorence. Mybe your very ancestors took part in this mass murder why you all think it is okay to chant this kind of dispicable thing.  

Georgialarsen
Georgialarsen

Dear Guest & Geraldine: Out of all of the comments made here, which as an Elder Native Woman grieves me deeply and which I find  so, so, so depressing... many, yet not all People (white, black, mexican, hispanic, asian, replubican, democrat, independents, rich & poor), remain so, so ill informed, uninformed, uneducated, uncaring, so self-centered and globally ignorant, so unjustly opinionated, & are so far removed from and not connected to  the historical truths of this country in so many ways. Perhaps they do not even care to know  this country's history. I wish if only  for a moment that those uttering such unimaginble words and those many who are of a like mind, could for one instance be transported back in time and "be there"  in one of those moments when those deliberately infestedgerm/genocidal"  blankets were being "given as gifts of goodwill and Friendship to the First Peoples of this land (in the quest/conquest for the land and its resources) and  takes one of those "Small pox blankets" (chant... chant) Think about it,.... some of you out there must be aware of what happens when there is no immunity to ahorrible disease as it was  the case at the turn of the century for all humans on the planet...... Mothers, Fathers, sisters, Brothers, nieces, nephews DIED!!! THEY DIED!!! This is a part, only a part of our great country's shameful, shameful history ...Make no mistake about it this... and make no mistake in acknowledging that ignorance, smallmindedness, brainlessness, lack of compassion and integrity and the education of some of our youth in some measure is being squandered...

 . Such comments and behaviors as exhibited in this article are sadly a reflection of our times, not only in this country but across the planet

j.white
j.white

 The white mindset is doomed. White culture as an idea does not create, it only destroys.

geraldine
geraldine

My great great grandmother died from the smallpox blankets handed out, The story of her agonizing death was passed down along with how her child survived alone on the beach where many First Nations died those deaths will never be forgotten. The vision of my great ancestor is in my head and it will never go away. The anger I feel from this article proves to me these deaths were of no significance to some. This article will be discussed and used in my book i am writing, I pray to my creator no First Nation ever attends your school with that kind of rascism there.

Mabel Ann Phillips
Mabel Ann Phillips

I am a Native American Elder. I have worked in the addictions field in Indian Country for 20+ yrs. Unresovled historical grief and trauma is intergenerational, the hurt and pain is a major issue for our people who have addictions. Our identity was beaten out of our ancestors in boarding school, so much was taken away, they didnt experiece parenting skills, the list goes on.. How can we guide our people on their healing journey, when the racism is so evident. Thousands of our people died because of germ warfare used by the gov't. Smallpox Blankets. How can we heal as a people when this kind of insensative behavior continues and is excepted by many. We are still here, we are a people who have survived much, yes , we are here for a reason.

Tingleskapsicawin Pretty Bear
Tingleskapsicawin Pretty Bear

awww shyt!.. just dont allow our people to NEVER attend another friggen skool... shyte!... ITS JUST a logo.. and the elders THE REAL OLD ONES- were the ones who did this.. and every red indin i kno keeps saying its racist.. why? cos some old guys gifted it to und in ceremony? and all american ncaafux can do as they damm please.  so are we really free indias? NO ... under the ncaa's ahole grip.. to AGAIN.. show americans Us Heathens can be under thumb.LOL;) 

Tingleskapsicawin Pretty Bear
Tingleskapsicawin Pretty Bear

If the logo was GIFTED in good faith and IT WAS held as CEREMONY,then I say keep it.. who is the ncaa to tell us Native Americans WHAT we want? How we WANT? or Who we WANT to be called? we are fighting Sioux even out here in  the real world..:)Im told  a certain member pushing this had a son who was gay and he and his boyfrd. broke up it was bad..and thats how this all started.. whats gay got to do with this mr. taken alive?  Why are the tribal ELDERS supposedly mad? they are not.. We as a SIOUX Nation are indeed fighters.. so.. how is IT REALLY RACIST? Just a question.. besides.. theres a TON of absentee Enroolled members of these two tribes who are the ONLY ones voting on it.. srst has a no no sayso.. yet Spirit lake is the TRUE Proud People to Want to keep it.. KUDOS! to the Spirit Lake People with the REAL spirit then...many od us want to vote but the tribes wont listen to MANY of us Absentee enrolled members. they wont listen to us.. its like we dont count cause we left the rezz to to better our families and get a better education and join the military..JUST like you regular folk. Thank You for reading..Im sitting here in ohio watching this take place.. and NO shoulder to cry on about the Diplorable Ncaa

Shannon
Shannon

I hate the name.  It just gives people an excuse to use racist language and call it "spirit."  And BTW, most tribal elders I know DO NOT like that name. 

Valeriefox908
Valeriefox908

I think its so racist, the whole thing but especially the fact that the word Sioux is a french spelling of an ojibwe word for the dakota indians that means, snake. Its an awful word, if they want to honor the name of the aboriginal people in their state it should be und dakota. Stupid...

Duluth Resident
Duluth Resident

This is a quote by Chad Czmowski, the author of a racist opinion article in the Duluth News Tribune about the chants at college hockey games: "I agree that these antics are what is fun about college hockey and aslo what distinguishes it amongst other leagues as far as a fun factor. I am also not against nasty or lewd cheers." STOP being a hypocrite and take the criticism on the racist problems you are creating!

WAAB 0711
WAAB 0711

All I know is that i've heard worse from the UND fans. I have attended UMD hockey games regularly for over four years and, yes some chants are questionable at best, but I think it is the UND fans and players that have a proud tradition of being down right, vulgar, sore loser, unsportsman-like ASSES!!! We (UMD) keep our behavior to the arena, you UND people can't help but be assholes 24/7. All argument aside though, we can all agree on one thing, whoever wrote this article is clearly a gopher fan.

Nate Bauer
Nate Bauer

Whoever wrote this is a dumbass. 

guest
guest

Thank you for writing this. I am a student at UMD and member of the community. I see this kind of "chant" as down right disgusting. Millions of Native Americans were wiped out by the smallpox epidemic - some historical evidence even suggest that it was done purposely by the (then) government. It's not ok to say things like this, it's not funny, or seen as "teasing" to someone whose lineage was directly effected by this tragedy. I don't ever indent to cause trouble or "stir the pot", but these chants don't have any justification to them. It's not acceptable to say these things about other races or cultures, so why is it acceptable when it comes to the Indigenous people of this country?

sioux
sioux

I totally agree. The UND name  is a separate issue. And the tribes WERE asked--one of which said they don't care, and the other tribe didn't even care enough to vote on it!!! I have numerous native american friends from Grand Forks who also think it is an honor to have the Fighting Sioux nickname, b/c the names are chosen not b/c of being timid and weak, but b/c of the excitement, courage, pride, and the qualities that would help you WIN a sporting event. That's a compliment to the Sioux, not a racist slur.  I don't see anyone protesting outside Notre Dames "FIghting Irish" football games, or the Blackhawks, etc. Why not?  

S.R.Hunkpapa701
S.R.Hunkpapa701

The problem isn't the logo or mascot, it's the word 'sioux'. So many native kids don't accurately know their own heritage (due to a very successful genocide). I love the logo, and the mascot, I feel it is a reminder of the way we were. However - the word 'sioux' is not a Lakota word. It is a French-Ojibwe word meaning 'low' or 'flat' - usually used to describe terrain - but also used to insult someone as a 'low-life'. A better tribute would be "The UND Fighting Tetons" (as soon as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes the word 'sioux' out of its own name).

Jason
Jason

I won't complain about UND's mascot until the Washington Redskins get rid of their nickname. UND uses a tribes name (who have said they don't really care) and Redskins is a racial slur.In my mind UND's mascot is perfectly ok, just a bunch of over sensitive hippies getting upset about nothing.

Shannon
Shannon

I'm Lakota.  I CARE!!!  It's one stupid little fucking tribe that does not care!  But trust me, I DO!

S
S

But yelling "smallpox blankets" is OK? That seems to be the issue here..

Vigilante
Vigilante

Personally I think someone should draw a picture as a mascot then make a mascot of a european! Then people can call him "Stay at home! Don't leave your home!"

Vigilante
Vigilante

Sounds like the history department has issues miseducating the students properly. I feel sorry for all that go to school their screaming and yelling in the name of an ignorant college. And here I had thought about going to school there. So much for that. I would much rather get better educated elsewhere. Remarks as ignorant as these made at a game really shows how much to the extent in which ignorance is a huge problem plaguing the midwest, at least in these areas. Sounds like there is an epidemic taking over all these people called, "ignorant disease!" Questions should suggest curable notions instead of aids in promotion for more diseased epidemic outbursts.

Ben Chorn
Ben Chorn

Still no comment on Ralph Engelstad being a Nazi...

pepbulldog
pepbulldog

Hey people this is hockey...can we get over the fact that none of these chants go towards UND fans or players once the game is over?! Like the fights on the ice we leave it at the arena if you don't want to hear vulgarities don't go to the game. 

Zinfadel
Zinfadel

Thats total bullshit, obviously you are not native. Of course they dont go toward the playes and fans, theyre predominatly white. Not only that but that shit doesnt get left on the ice..natives deal with it every day from ignorant people like you..

guest
guest

nothings racist about any of it. A mascot is a mascot,, there shouldn't be mascots then if its gonna get criticized. go to hell for being a mustang god forbid you represent something you don't like i don't like the color yellow so how bout i start shit just because my school colors are yellow... leave things the way they are. theres a reason for that. you weren't apart of selecting the name or starting the school so everyone should just buck up and deal, changing a mascots name isn't going to change the world. maybe ur the racist for makng a big deal out of it.

Frankisfrank
Frankisfrank

You are amazingly stupid, actually your ignorance I would describe as epic, your red neck is showing, go and do something about that you white toadstool.

guest
guest

only a fatass p.o.s would actually say something like that on an article argueing about racism u dumb fool

Maveljames
Maveljames

A mustang is an animal which is acceptable as a mascot, a race of human being put through turmoil in this country used as a mascot is NOT acceptable! .. like said above, GET RID OF THE RACIST NICKNAME and then you wont hear those chants.

guest
guest

 ok well eff me for saying mustang, how bout notre dame then? u gonna target them and make their life a little worse just cuz it represents the irish? probably not becuz ur all too focused on a small ass town in NORTH DAKOTA trying to make an issue out of something that needs to be dropped.

Fort Max
Fort Max

So I guess the Florida St. Seminoles is Racist too? Try and tell them down there to change their name. Not going to happen.

L H
L H

Check your facts, the Florida Seminole tribes educated the mascot, make the outfit, and endorse it so that it's done right. UND never took any of those considerations.

KamJos
KamJos

The Florida Seminoles have the permission of the tribe to use the name and at least treat it with respect. It came with conditions that they accepted. 

Makade_shinaabe94
Makade_shinaabe94

Seminoles are fishes it the name of the tribe of natives but it dont have to be the native itself fool

Vince069
Vince069

"Apparently, cultural sensitivity isn't a popular topic up at UMD."

 Fuck off, shitty pages.  There are ignorant has been jock bros on every college campus.  Apparently smugness and cynicism are popular topics in your Mpls. Loft.

MIke W.
MIke W.

College students behaving boorishly at an athletic event?  Color me shocked.....

pizza
pizza

both sides are being ridiculous here.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...