List of ethnic sports team and mascot names

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following is a list of sports team names and mascots derived from ethnic groups of peoples, including generically used terms, those named after specific peoples, and words or iconography derived from different languages or traditions.

There is considerable controversy over these team names and mascots because various American Indians activist groups view them as disrespectful and offensive. Most notably, the National Congress of American Indians has issued a resolution opposing continued usage of Native team names, mascots and logos. Various tribal entities have also issued resolutions opposing usage, as well. However, not all ethnic team names are derived from Native American imagery, and many names connected to other ethnic groups, such as the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, are considered inoffensive (by some), and may even be embraced by the ethnic groups they represent.

According to a 2002 Sports Illustrated article (Price, S.L. "The Indian Wars", March 4, 2002, pp 66–72), 83% of American Indian respondents to a Sports Illustrated poll said that professional teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots or symbols.

Scholars have challenged the Sports Illustrated findings on multiple grounds. King, et al. (2002) argue (1) the SI poll is problematic because it serves to distract readers from the history and implications of mascots. (2) The survey features problematic sampling and identification issues produce non-representative and un-generalizable findings (for example, Snipp (1992) writes of the difficulty involved in any quantitative research on American Indians in national polling). (3) SI decontextualizes mascots and the controversy about them. (4) The article discussing the poll concludes that mascots are unproblematic merely because a majority of polled Native people say they are, thus discounting the validity of a critical minority. And (5) the consequences for public debate and social justice are ignored by the poll, which treats the issue as critically as SI treats sports injuries or debate over which teams will make the playoffs.

This list is not exclusive to the United States, and lists some teams outside the United States.


Association football (soccer)[edit]

Some national football teams have nicknames reflecting the culture of their nations, usually in a political, historical, or religious manner. For example, the Egyptian national football team are known as The Pharaohs, a nod to the rulers that governed ancient Egypt.



Gridiron football[edit]


New England Patriots (NFL) USC Trojans (NCAA)





Motorcycle speedway[edit]




Defunct names[edit]


Defunct mascots[edit]

Fictional teams[edit]

See also[edit]


King, C. Richard, Ellen J. Staurowsky, Lawrence Baca, Laurel R. Davis, and Cornel Pewewardy 2002. Of Polls and Prejudice: Sports Illustrated’s Errant ‘Indian Wars’. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 26 (4), November: 381-402.

External links[edit]