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What's in a Nickname? Not Much, Reader Says

March 07, 1992

On the subject of team nicknames, Mike Downey makes some strong points on the issue of insensitivity toward American Indians. Clearly the most pejorative nickname of all pro teams is the Redskins. However, I can't bring myself to feel as passionately on the point as Mr. Downey does.

One might ask, "What right does someone who is not an American Indian have in telling one who is that the name Braves or Redskins is not offensive?" I'll grant that. So I must look into my own heritage to find a parallel and lo and behold, what shows up is the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Yet as stereotypical as the name sounds and as caricaturish as its logo is in portraying a pugnacious, red-faced leprechaun, I am in no way offended. I don't even think if the name were "Mickey Finns" or "Shanty Shamrocks" I would take it as a personal affront.

Like cliches, these names have long lost their provocative potency. But I speak only for myself.

KEVIN GILLOGLY

Los Angeles

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