Why the University of North Dakota is still selling merchandise with banned Fighting Sioux logo
They have a new school nickname, but the University of North Dakota are still selling merchandise with their same old objectionable logo.
In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned schools from using American Indian team nicknames and logos. The University of North Dakota was then known as the Fighting Sioux, a name the NCAA found hostile and abusive.
University of North Dakota eventually dropped the Fighting Sioux name and logo and its teams are now known as the Fighting Hawks. But earlier this month, the school launched a sale of merchandise with its old Sioux logo. The same logo and name that was deemed offensive 10 years ago.
"I'm not saying that I think it's logical. In fact, it's a catch-22. There's no question about it," university spokesperson Peter Johnson tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "Nevertheless, it's the one that we're in."
According to Johnson, the thinking behind the arrangement is that maintaining ownership of the logo ensures it is controlled and not appropriated for more extreme use.
"If the image is construed as being hostile and abusive, then somebody else would pick up that image and would make use of it in a much more rigorous kind of way," Johnson argues.
Johnson says the last controlled release of Fighting Sioux merchandise included about 9,000 items that sold "pretty fast."