Scholar Panel At Brock U. Will Dissect Controversy Around Sports Team Logos

An Invite To A Panel Discussion from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted November 16th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario – Sports teams are increasingly coming under fire for using logos, mascots and other images or wording that stereotype Indigenous peoples.

Cleveland Indians baseball team logo became a target of heated debated during the recent World Series playoffs when an attempt to ban it in Canada failed to get court approval during the team's series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cleveland Indians baseball team logo became a target of heated debated during the recent World Series playoffs when an attempt to ban it in Canada failed to get court approval during the team’s series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Last month, several groups asked the Ontario Superior Court to block the Cleveland Indians from using its team name or “Chief Wahoo” logo during an American League playoff game in Toronto. After the court denied the request, Major League Baseball issued a statement saying “we would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation.”

St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario – This Friday Nov. 18, a panel of Brock University sport, culture and Indigenous scholars will discuss how an increasing focus on social responsibility in pro sports and sport management may change how teams brand themselves.

“Indigenous team names and logos are typically framed in terms of how passionate fans are about their team’s name, its history in the community, or the economic cost of change,” says co-organizer Lisa Kikulis, Associate Professor and Chair of Brock’s Department of Sport Management.

“We need to keep the debate going and dig a little deeper about uncovering the history, the cultural landscape, the legal, and the consumer’s interest in social responsibility and also giving voice to those whose voice has not been adequately heard.”

The aged logo of the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team has also become an ongoing topic of controversy

The aged logo of the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team has also become an ongoing topic of controversy

Logos like those is use by the Cleveland, Chicago and Washington teams are “a mockery to very strong, very intelligent people,” says Indigenous scholar Colleen Patterson.

“We have our own imagery that we encapsulate to express ourselves. This is not the kind of imagery we see instilling pride.”

Read a related story at https://goo.gl/GTJ44D

  • What: “Deconstructing the use of Indigenous names and images in sport” panel discussion
  • When: Nov. 18 from 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Where: Thistle Room 325, Brock University
  • Who: Applied Health Sciences researchers Craig Hyatt, Hilary Findlay and Cathy van Ingen; moderator Scott Henderson, Associate Professor in the Department of Communications

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