On March 16th, 2021, a racially motivated shooter targeted Asian women at several spas in Atlanta, Georgia. This shooting is another addition to the hateful and exploitative actions consistently taken against Asian Americans over America’s history.
Asian culture has long been simultaneously exotified and erased by non-Asians in America. In many cases, these instances are often overlooked as being harmless appropriation of words and concepts. This attitude encourages the erasure of culturally significant ideas and replaces them with vacant pop-culture definitions. Appropriation is a product of imperialism, assimilation, and oppression; Asian Americans have historically suffered all of these things, and they continue to experience the effects today.
The University of Minnesota Women’s Ultimate Program carries the name “Ninjas” for the A team and “Katanas” for the B team. Our predominantly white teams bear these names on our jerseys, featuring logos with shurikens (ninja stars) and katanas (curved Japanese swords). Using these items as our namesakes and logos is active capitalization on Japanese and Chinese culture. It orientalizes and exoticizes East Asian cultures. Appropriating cultural tokens to brand a team as “stealthy” or “edgy” is neither acceptable nor necessary for creating a successful sports program. It is inappropriate and a form of racism that is subtle and perverse.
We apologize that our commitment to this issue has taken so long. In the coming weeks, our team and alumni will begin the process of renaming our A and B teams. This action is an important step in our mission to make equity and anti-racism a priority in our program. We still have a lot to learn, and we believe this is a step in the right direction.
What does the University of Minnesota's Women's Ultimate Team do?
The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities women's ultimate team trains year round and travel to various high level tournaments across the country.
This is a competitive club sport seeking players of all skill levels! If you are brand new to the sport, no problem! We will teach you everything you need to know. Whether you've always enjoyed playing ultimate or are just looking for a focused club sport team to join, our women's ultimate team is what you are looking for.