Education A State Capitals Roundup

California Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Use of ‘Redskins’

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 04, 2004 1 min read

California Gov. Arnold Schwarz enegger has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited sports teams at non-Indian schools from using certain team names, mascots, or nicknames drawn from Native American culture.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, a Democrat, includes a list of words to be banned. Among them are “redskins,” “Indians,” “braves,” and any names of tribes of Native Americans. Such names are “discriminatory in singling out the Native American/American Indian community for the derision to which mascots or nicknames are often subjected,” the bill says.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, stated in his veto message that he believes such matters should be decided at the local level. He added that he was opposed to what he views as a “nonacademic state administrative requirement for schools” that might take focus away from student achievement.