Activists Want State Board To Ban Sports Teams' Indian Mascots

Nashville (AP) -- American Indian activists will ask the Tennessee Human Rights Commission on Friday to ban Indian mascots and symbols.

Activist tom Kunesh in Chattanooga says the issue is racism when Native American imagery is used and controlled by people who aren't Indians, often in satirical ways.

Activists say about two dozen high schools and 80 middle and elementary schools in the state use nicknames, most of them go by "Indians."

At Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Principal Tom Nolan says taking away the "Warriors" mascot would hurt his school, where the student newspaper is the "Smoke Signal" and the classrooms are identified by arrow heads over the doors.

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga stopped using "Chief Moccanooga" as its mascot in the mid-1990s when Kunesh and others asked the school to change. The school's sports teams are now nicknamed the Mocs, rather than the Moccasins.

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