A Mock Debate on the Washington Redskins Brand: Fostering Critical Thinking and Cultural Sensitivity Among Sport Business Students

in Sport Management Education Journal
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  • 1 Saint Joseph’s University
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This article details a sport business project intended to provide students with an opportunity to analyze critically the convergence of business, cultural, and social justice issues associated with the controversial name of the Washington Redskins football franchise. In the context of a mock debate, three teams of students represented separate interests—the Native American community, the Washington Redskins management, and Washington, D.C. government—to advocate for and against a recently proposed name change. Taking up this real topic in contemporary sport business, students received intensive exposure to self-directed learning, cultural competence, simulated debate, and spontaneous questions. Students reported in their personal reflections that the project helped improve their critical analysis of stakeholders’ positions, cultural awareness, and sensitivity to factors that can help and hinder brand meaning.

Stephanie A. Tryce and Brent Smith are with the Marketing Department, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Address author correspondence to Stephanie A. Tryce at stryce@sju.edu.

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