Experts, journalist set to discuss ‘American Indians, the Media and Team Sports’

March 04, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two American Indian experts and a respected journalist will discuss “American Indians, The Media and Team Sports” in a free public event March 31 at Penn State's University Park campus.

The panel discussion, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in 112 Kern Building, includes Richie Plass, a member of the Menominee tribal nation, Charlene Teters, a member of the Spokane tribe, and Mike Wise, a senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Penn State faculty member John Sanchez, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and member of the Nde Apache tribal nation, will moderate the discussion.

Plass, an American Indian activist, has appeared in national media outlets addressing the use of American Indian imagery as mascots for team sports. He is also the education director of the Bittersweet Winds Project, a traveling museum of American Indian products and imagery used in media and team sports.  

Teters has earned an international reputation for opposing the use of American Indian imagery in sports since 1989. She was featured in the PBS documentary “In Whose Honor” discussing the use of American Indian cultures as team sports mascots. She has also been featured as the ABC News “Person of the Week” and in a large number of news reports on this topic. Teters is the founding board member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media. 

Mike Wise is a senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, a site dedicated to the intersection of race, sports and culture. Wise came to ESPN from The Washington Post, where he was as an award-winning sports columnist and feature writer for 11 years. Before the Post he worked for 10 years at The New York Times, primarily covering the NBA. He hosted “The Mike Wise Show” on WJFK-FM in Washington, D.C., for three and a half years and appears regularly on CNN, MSNBC and ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” Wise has been named among the nation’s top sports columnists annually by the Associated Press Sports Editors. 

Sanchez is an American Indian educator and teaches news media ethics. His research is focused at the intersection of news media and American Indian identity. He has appeared in national media addressing American Indian identity in the 21st century, has written on this topic in academic journals and recently published a book titled “American Indians and the Media.” 

Last Updated March 17, 2016