A group of about 12 Native American actors walked off the set of a new Adam Sandler movie recently after feeling that the movie “insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.”
A sample of the offensive script elements reportedly include “native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.” Apparently, there has been no statement yet from Sandler or Happy Madison Productions.
Fans of crude comedy are probably reacting to the news with a “Well, it’s an Adam Sandler movie, of course it’s gonna be ridiculous, you should have known what you were getting into.” While fans of Native Americans who are aware of their centuries of aggressive marginalization and stereotyping by American pop culture are all like “Hey, it’s probably worth it to hear these actors out.”
One thing we can all agree on, though, is the intense guilt everyone should feel about the crimes of our ancestors, and what better way to manifest that than ranting! Since we haven’t heard the other side of this story yet, I’ll focus instead on a few other offenses to Native Americans in the sports world.
The Washington Redskins
This is truly one of the most insane things in modern sports. It boggles the mind of 99.9% of America that the Washington Redskins are still using that mascot and yet, it still exists. What the fuck, Washington? What the fuck, NFL? What the fuck, Dan Snyder? The funniest argument about keeping the Redskins mascot is that some fans refer to it as “tradition” and “heritage” to be a Redskins fan and they don’t want to mess with that (!!!!!). Just call your damn team the Bobcats, who gives a fuck. I’m a huge sports fan and I kind of wish my team got a new nickname every year. It would be fun! First we were the Bengals, but now we’re the Dragons! Next year we should be the Hounddogs! That’s fun!
The Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo
This is crazy for all the same reasons as the Redskins except it has existed for a longer time and for some reason that makes it more permanent and unchangeable. One special wrinkle to the Cleveland Indians case is that their name before Indians was the Cleveland Naps, named after star player, Napolean “Nap” Lajoie after a local newspaper conducted a write in contest to rename the team after the Cleveland “Bluebirds” was deemed to wussy (I’m assuming this wussy part, just because back in 1902, men were men, ya know?). Naps is a much better name. It’s super original, weird, potentially confusing, all things that would give Cleveland’s baseball team originality and maybe even a slight edge over their opponents. Why hold on to this stereotyping bullshit?
The Atlanta Braves “Tomahawk Chop” Cheer
AAAAHHHH, this makes me cringe so much I can’t take it. It’s the only sports cheer that is worse than The Wave, and it’s WAY worse. Stop doing this, Atlanta! The one “progressive” thing the Braves did do was in 1986 they replaced their “Chief Noc-A-Homa” mascot. THAT is considered progressive in the world of racist sports mascots.