UND still waving the flag of bigotry

The University of North Dakota needs to drop its racist nickname and logos.

Last week, the NCAA rejected the University of North Dakota’s appeal to remove restrictions on the nickname and logo of the Fighting Sioux.

In August, the NCAA Executive Committee issued a policy prohibiting the display of “hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery” at all 88 NCAA championships. The policy is aimed at the representation of American Indian people. Since then, at least three of the 18 schools that the policy affects have been allowed to use American Indian nicknames and imagery.

Last week, the NCAA rejected the University of North Dakota’s appeal to remove restrictions on the nickname and logo of the Fighting Sioux. This decision came after opposition from two of three local American Indian tribes. The school, however, maintains that it is in no way harmful or abusive. Also, it said, NCAA did not define “harmful or abusive.” Next, the school plans to appeal the appeal. But intentions are much different than reality. The university should listen to the tribes and the NCAA, and accept the decision. Just because the university doesn’t think they’re being offensive does not mean the images and nicknames are not harmful.

In an open letter to the NCAA, the school said the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo “are used with the utmost respect and class and are in no way inherently hostile or abusive,” and also said it’s “totally unreasonable” to change the contract’s existing terms. The school is scheduled to host the West Regional of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in March. But it will be prohibited from hosting NCAA events in the future until it complies with the new policy. Rather than being stubborn about the situation, UND should be considerate of the students and the American Indian tribes. The school does not have a concrete reason as to why they will not drop the harmful name and logo. Though it will take work to change the name and logo, in the end the school and its community will win if it complies.