Letter to the Editor

Mascot matters

Arroyo GrandeAugust 8, 2013 

Redskins Camp Football

The helmet of Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) sits on the turf during afternoon practice at the NFL football teams training camp in Richmond, Va. Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

STEVE HELBER — AP

I read with interest Steve Provost’s piece July 17 regarding the use of “redskin” for Washington’s team. I agree that it is a racial slur and insulting to most Native Americans. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has unequivocally stated its opinion on this subject. It has the widest spectrum of Native American representation of which I am aware.

Being a UC Irvine alumnus, I have to comment on the choice of Peter the Anteater as the school mascot. Peter the Anteater came from the cartoon characters in B.C. comics which was very popular during the ’60s when the campus opened. Peter represented exploring new things and innovation. Such was the character of Peter and such was the spirit of the new UC campus. Over the years, the connection with Peter the Anteater and B.C. comics was lost, and the mascot is now just the Anteater.

I also want to remind your readers that a sports team need not represent something fierce, such as a bear, a tiger or wildcat (heaven knows there are plenty of those). For instance, Maryland has the Terrapin, North Carolina the Tarheels and don’t forget the Georgetown Hoyas (which I believe stands for a “wall”).

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