Thursday, April 5, 2012
Native American Athletes Leaving the Reservation
Living in Oklahoma for a few years, I got a up close look at what Native Americans are really like. Rather than being just a bunch of orange skinned people with feather hanging out of their head, they deal with a lot of issues that city people go through. In states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Montana where Native American life can be seen more frequently, you find awesome stories like the one I found on ESPN.com. Leaving the reservation is a huge deal for Native Americans, especially women. It is not uncommon for high school-aged native American women to have children mid way through their high school lives. In this story that Bob Ley of ESPN did which looked at Native Americans in the sports culture, there was a woman from a tribe in Montana that had a full ride to the University of Montana to play basketball. On this woman's high school basketball team, 3 out of the 4 seniors also had children and still managed to win a state championship. Being a huge basketball fan, I can understand how hard it would be to have to choose between pursuing your dream in college basketball or staying on the reservation with a child and do nothing with your God-given talents to play the game.
This article also looked at Native American's making it to the NHL, NBA and professional lacrosse. Also, the issue with using Native American mascots is brought up. Is it wrong to use names such as Fighting Sioux, Fighting Illini, Indians, Seminoles or Chiefs? Does this diminish the Native American culture?