The big issues with sports images and accompanying chants and movements are the perpetuation of stereotypes in the absence of a range of positive, contemporary First Nations images. And then, how those stereotypes perpetuated by others. Those who perpetuate inappropriate, inaccurate, and misinformation have the "power" to define us, instead of our own images and stories defining ourselves. This affects other peoples understanding of us and our own identity development. As women, we don't like to be called, "wench" anymore and we would hope other inappropriate phrases (or as some like to say, "phrases of that time period") would fall out of use, too. Images need to also change or disappear. The Black " Mammy" on maple syrup has evolved over the decades, though I am not really sure why that exists in the first place since maple syrup is Native in origin. We are not where we were as a society AND, as Native People, we are finally at a point where we an protest and be heard - look at how long it took women to be heard and to get the right to vote!
In addition, statistics are often cited that mention Native American's "don't care" or "are fine" with the sports images, but that is not the whole story. Here is an article that explains this:
“I don’t really worry about it,” said Elaine YellowHorse, a college student and EMT on the reservation, told me. “There are just so many other things that I need to worry about before that.” But YellowHorse gives the lie to the idea that 58% of the survey respondents actively condone the name. While she said she wouldn’t bother to change it, YellowHorse also told me that she found “Redskins” offensive and was upset by the idea that there were non-Native fans running around in headdresses in the nation’s capital. It’s a difficult sentiment to understand — to find something offensive but not worth worrying about — but when the whole world around you is tinged with racism, you have a high bar for what you deem worthy of worrying about.
“Native Americans throughout the country consider the term ‘redskin’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word' among African Americans or the ‘W-word' among Latinos,” Cole and nine other lawmakers wrote in a letter earlier this year to team owner Daniel Snyder. “Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw widespread disapproval among the NFL's fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington's NFL football team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans.”
Hope this helps