Sep 28, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Lee Corso on the sidelines in the first half of the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Native American group unhappy with Lee Corson for portraying Seminole on College GameDay

We knew it was only a matter of time until people would speak up and criticize ESPN’s Lee Corso for being insensitive by dressing up as the Florida State Seminoles mascot on College GameDay this past weekend.

Corso got in a full get-up with the spear and all, only to be tackled and trambled by Bill Murray before the spear was thrown into the crowd.

It may not have been intentional, but it was clearly insensitive and disrespectful to the Native American people and the National Congress of American Indians was among those who were not happy.

From Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic:

Evidently, no one at ESPN stopped to think: ”Hey, maybe some folks might consider Corso’s dance inappropriate” especially for a network that has covered the “Redskins” controversy and has a huge stake in the success and reputation of the National Football League (and college football, for that matter). And clearly no one afteward at the network seemed inclined to offer any sort of explanation or rationale for what had just aired.

But the fact is that many people did consider the episode highly offensive. Here is what a spokeswoman for the National Congress of American Indians told me Saturday evening:

“This is a perfect example of how Native Americans are ridiculed in the course of sports entertainment. Good-natured rivalries are one thing. Wearing the native equivalent of black face is quite another. The Eagle Staff carried by Mr. Corso and thrown into the crowd by Mr. Murray is a sacred symbol of leadership and today is used to honor our Native veterans who have served this country. That it was used as a prop in this mockery and shown such disrespect is proof that our heritage and culture are not honored or respected by the slurs and caricatures used by sports teams.”

With media outlets spending so much time on the Washington Redskins name, you would think they’d be more careful about doing something like this on air.

Somewhere along the line an ESPN producer thought this would be a good idea which shows a troubling lack of understanding about the impact this could have.

Tags: ACC Football Florida State Seminoles

  • joefromnc

    If this was the only time he dressed up as a mascot I may agree, but he does this EVERY WEEK. Should I be offended as a white guy when he dresses up like a cowboy or boilermaker??? Grow some skin!!

  • Eric L

    Pathetic. It’s incredible how far left and politically correct this country is. I want the New England patriots logo changed too. I find it offensive that those who fought for what is now this great country is portrayed in such manner.

  • Turtle Heart

    Eagle Feather Staff. It is very true that an eagle feather Staff is considered a very sacred object. In a tribal community, disrespecting such an object would be an incredible scandal. Any leader who did something like this would be expelled on the spot. Any reasonable person can understand the idea that certain objects are very sensitive and sacred to those people who hold them. I never follow professional sports of any kind. The whole enterprise is dominated by people who have no interest in respect for cultures, their only passion is money and personal fame. Today, it remains a tragic example of the emptiness of the enterprise that such behavior is broadcast, even celebrated. Professional sports continues to be empty of ethics.

  • Al

    Lets go after the Fighting Irish for Irish people, go after SC Gamecocks for PETA and ASPCA, and any team with an big cat for WWF!! See how stupid this sounds?!! You really wanna do something?? Fix the problems on these Indian Reservations!! Unemployment and illiteracy rates have always been high.