Let a world hung up on political correctness take note: the Seminoles of the state of Florida are proud of the Florida State Seminoles.
And FSU students and athletes are proud to be linked to “The Unconquered People.”
The Seminoles (the football team) are playing for college football’s national championship Monday night against the Auburn Tigers in Pasadena. And the team symbols – Osceola and his horse, Renegade – are going to be part of the action, with the full support of the Seminoles (the tribe).
An Associated Press story about the FSU team, its name and its symbols seems puzzled by the lack of controversy.
“Some might cringe at the 35-year-old tradition carried out by ‘Osceola’ and ‘Renegade’ — the Florida State mascots that will lead the cheering when the Seminoles play the Auburn Tigers for the national championship Monday night,” the story states.
The story doesn’t identify who the supposed cringers might be, but suffice it to say they’d be a distinct minority in Tallahassee these days. Florida State has a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the Seminole Tribe – and one based on mutual respect.
“The relationship is treated with reverence,” FSU Vice President for University Relations told the AP. “We are very respectful of them and we honor them because they, frankly, allow us to use their name.”
In return, among other things, FSU offers scholarships and tuition discounts to tribe members.
And the relationship works — the way relationships can work in the world when two parties decide they can benefit from cooperating with each other. Anyone who doubts it can just ask the Seminoles (the tribe) themselves.
Seminole Chairman James Billie didn’t respond to the AP’s request for an interview, but the article quoted a CNN interview from December where Billie made the tribe’s point of view as clear as could be.
“Anybody come here into Florida trying to tell us to change the name, they better go someplace else,” he said. “Because we’re not changing the name.”
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