North Dakota Votes Down Fighting Sioux Nickname as University Calls It ‘Political’ Decision

After years of getting flak for keeping a team nickname that some say dishonors local American Indians, the University of North Dakota is finally letting go.

Residents voted Tuesday to get rid of the Fighting Sioux nickname.

"This is a political matter with no celebration," Tim O'Keefe, executive vice president and CEO of the school's alumni association and foundation, told The Associated Press.

The school has faced possible NCAA sanctions, and many people have questioned the university's choice to keep the nickname years after other schools got rid of any monikers that could be considered offensive to American Indians.

"We've said all along that this is not an issue about preference," O'Keefe said. "Clearly if that were the case, the name would be staying. The price of keeping the name is simply too high."

Some local American Indians had said they wanted the name to be kept, as it has bolstered their tribes' image. But voters upheld the state Legislature's repeal of the name with a 68 percent majority Tuesday. The state Board of Higher Education will vote next, according to the AP.

Thumbnail via Facebook/University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux

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