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Iowa track ban troublesome, doubtful

February 28, 2012
Estherville Daily News

The University of Iowa is putting its foot down on political correctness by banning the University of North Dakota from its April track meet because of the school's nickname - the Fighting Sioux.

Apparently the U of Iowa policy prohibits the athletic department from having competition with schools using Native American mascots - unless approved by the NCAA.

Illinois, with a mascot name of Fighting Illini, is apparently exempt due to contractual obligations within the Big Ten Conference.

A number of questions arise on this issue.

What if a tribal college or university has a Native American mascot name. Would they also be prevented if they played in a conference that had the same policy as the University of Iowa?

Why is the Fighting Illini fine but not the Fighting Sioux? If "contractual obligations" within the Big Ten supercede U of Iowa policy, doesn't it stand to reason that First Amendment rights would supercede them even more?

In either of the above instances, it seems that First Amendment rights would appear to be paramount above political correctness. While NCAA and U of Iowa approval pertain to a slim segment of the population, the First Amendment applies to everyone - including Native Americans.

The Constitution has been vandalized and gutted enough. Do we need to have the NCAA and U of Iowa take this issue one ridiculous step even further?

America's heartland is filled with Native American names - Iowa, North and South Dakota, Minnesota - the list goes on and on. Out landscape is replete with Native American place names. They're a testament to the proud and strong people who lived here for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years.

The name Fighting Sioux was not created to disparage or discriminate against Native Americans. It was created to honor them - their renown as fierce and brave warriors and the best horse soldiers the world has ever seen.

Do the NCAA and U of Iowa want to erase those memories - along with their name?

Now THAT would be cultural genocide.



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