Fightin’ Whities

Marisa Demarco
2 min read
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Yesterday I twittered a link to a tale in the Washington Post about the Redskins unofficial mascot. His name is Chief Zee, an elderly African American man who wears an offensive outfit and cheerleads at games. He’s been at it for 31 years.

Zee, or Zema Williams, is painted pitifully in the column.

The team didn’t even give Zee season tickets until a few months ago — after he underwent stomach surgery and it appeared that his days were numbered.

Rough. Washington is the only team in the NFL that uses a human Native American mascot. The Kansas City Chiefs got rid of theirs in the ’80s and use a wolf now, according to the article.

The high court is considering hearing a case that says these racist mascots violate standards of decency.

I’ve never understood why teams won’t change their names. Sure, there’s merchandise money to consider, but come on. Do you really want to go down in history as the football franchise that clung to racism the longest? And if your fans are real fans, won’t they go out and get all new merch anyway?

A friend responded to my post about Chief Zee with information about the funniest counter-racism action I’ve seen in a while. Has everyone heard of the
Fightin’ Whities? Motto: Everything’s gonna be all white. It’s an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado that formed in 2002. Players at the time of its founding were Native American, Hispanic and white.

The T shirts are rad, and proceeds go toward scholarships for Native American students.
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