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OSU Students Are Under Fire For This “Trail Of Tears” Banner

The student body is facing harsh criticism after the picture found its way to Twitter. This is far from the first time the historic massacre has been used to taunt opponents.

1. This picture of Oklahoma State University students posing with a banner referencing the Trail of Tears is causing an uproar on social media.

2. Many feel that referencing the Trail of Tears in this way trivializes what was a horrific and devastating historic event.


It is estimated that between 4,000 and 18,000 Native Americans died when Andrew Jackson forcibly removed them from their land in Georgia in 1838.

3. Several Oklahoma residents and OSU alums tweeted of their embarrassment by OSU students.

6. One person noticed that the sign was held during the Cherokee National Holiday, which this year commemorates the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears.

Ironic that on #CherokeeHoliday & 175th anniversary of the #TrailOfTears, idiots from my alma mater do this.

— Amanda_Clinton (@Amanda Clinton)

7. This is not the first time that the Trail of Tears has been used by students to taunt sports opponents that use Native Americans as mascots.

http://fiftyfourfourtyeight.tumblr.com / Via thinkprogress.org

In 2013, an Alabama high school came under fire for its Trail of Tears banner, pictured above, as did a high school in Tennessee.

8. OSU officially condemned the sign via Twitter, as did an OSU student account which also apologized on behalf of the fans.

OSU does not condone the insensitive sign shown at today's GameDay event and have requested that it be removed.

— okstate (@Oklahoma State Univ.)

We do not support or endorse the offensive trail of tears sign made by one of our fans. We do however apologize on their behalf.

— OSU_Students (@OSU Student Section)

10. And OSU didn’t have the only awful sports sign of the day. ESPN’s Keri Potts tweeted and later deleted this picture of fan signs from the set of College Gameday in Ft. Worth.

One sign depicted FSU player Jameis Winston with his hands in the air next to the words “Hands up! Don’t spear!” referencing the rallying cry of demonstrators protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Once ESPN staff was made aware of the sign via Twitter, Potts tweeted that the sign was removed and the individual responsible for it left the area.

So we got an FSU fan with a Hands Up, Don't Spear sign and OK State fans with a Trail of Tears sign. Yep, college football season

— tabdekalb (@Tadpole Jackson)

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