The Dyersburg Trojans played the Northside Indians in the Tennessee High School Football Playoffs on Friday. The Trojans held up a banner that had blue dots in the shape of tears trickled on the word “tears”; and yellow dots, also in the shape of tears, on the word “trail.”
According to Mother Jones, a Facebook page, that is managed by the Dyersburg coaching staff, highlighted a half-dozen photos of their students holding up the sign for the visiting team, the Indians.
Their principal, Jon Frye, did not attend the playoff game and said that he was not aware of the photos on Facebook. He also said that he would ask the administrators of the page to take them down. The photos have been removed.
Earlier this week, McAdory High School in McCalla, Alabama, used a paper sign to taunt their opponents, the Pinson Valley Indians. It said, “Hey, Indians, get ready to leave in a Trail of Tears.” Their principal, Tod Humphries, has apologized for the incident.
These incidents have come to the forefront as the “Redskins” name-change debate continues to be a hot button issue in the NFL. Activists, lawmakers and Native American groups have said that the name is offensive, but the team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has refused to change the name.
Frye said that “there’s some truth” to the fact that students should have known better than to mock such a tragic event. “I guess you could make the logical connection. If they weren’t named Indians, then you couldn’t have this particular situation.”