Is Chief Wahoo racist?

Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 02:00 pm
Now that the Cleveland Indians are in the World Series, I've read stories about their logo, Chief Wahoo, being a racist caricature of Native Americans.
I personally think it's a cool logo-character, but I undestand some people may feel it offensive.
What's your opinion?
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 02:01 pm
He's not black, what's the issue?
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 02:11 pm
Mexico has several indian named clubs.
These are the logos. I found them more politically correct than Cleveland's:

Obregón Yaquis, baseball:

Navojoa Mayos, baseball:

Juarez Indians, baseball:

Juarez Indians, soccer:

Juarez Indians, basketball:

Tepic Coras, soccer:

Yaquis, Mayos and Coras are different tribes from our Northwest.

Juarez uses generic "Indians", but the red band is used by the Rarámuris, in Central Chihuahua.
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 02:52 pm
My one quarter of native American blood/heritage is unoffended.

If there is to be a controversy, perhaps it should be aimed at the team name of Indians. After all, the team is supposedly named after the people who were on this land long before the Europeans arrived, not of the peoples of India.

Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 02:58 pm
Sturgis wrote:
If there is to be a controversy, perhaps it should be aimed at the team name of Indians.

that's been the deal here
they tried to have the name banned from use


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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 03:37 pm
I worked on the big Navajo reservation for over six years. In some game, World Series I believe, there was major support for the Washington Redskins. If there was resentment for either the name or the character, it was definitely in the minority. Shiprock NM is on the reservation and calls their team the Chieftains, though you would be ill advised to address any Navajo as "Chief". I'm inclined the think that at least one tribe is not offended.
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 04:18 pm
Didn't they get rid of that logo?

Don't they just use a 'c' now?
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 04:58 pm
Why would Chief Wahoo be racist? I think he likes everybody.
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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 05:02 pm
No, they didn't.


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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 05:11 pm
The thing that always gets me about these cases is this.
If someone's words or actions are offensive to someone else, there seem always to be a chorus of people trying to decide whether or not there should have been offense taken.
Who has the right to say someone shouldn't be offended?

The team owner should just make a decision. Either make a change to accommodate those offended, or simply ignore those saying they're offended and keep the logo. Period.

Why get into a debate about if the offended people have a right to be offended?

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Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 08:35 pm
I agree with Snood.

Now more "Indian" teams:

From Puerto Rico:

Indios de Mayagüez, baseball:

Indios de Mayagüez, basketball:
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Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 09:07 am
As a Caucasian immigrant I'm not gonna pass judgement on chief Wahoo.
However, there would be much less controversy if the team embraced the culture of a regional tribe like the Kickapoo as was done in Florida by the Florida State University Seminoles.

There the school and Seminole tribe elders worked in close cooperation to develop the FSU icon and mascot.
At the beginning of each game a student dressed as chief Osceola riding a horse named Renegade spikes the field with a flaming spear.

The respect shown by the students and faculty of this school erases any trace of racism.
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 09:15 am
The respect shown by the students and faculty of this school erases any trace of racism.

\Sometimes a little respect can go a long way.
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Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 09:16 am
During the debate here (Toronto), they had an interview with a sports announcer who just doesn't say Indians when he's covering their games. He didn't tell anyone, didn't make a fuss, just stopped using the word about 20 years ago. He said no one's ever complained about his non-use of the word.

Cleveland's up.

Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 09:18 am
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Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 02:11 pm
I don't care whether anyone is offended or not. I think it's racist.
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Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2018 12:29 pm
Indians will remove Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms, starting 2019:

Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2018 12:54 pm
Good riddance to bad mojo/karma/racist marketing.
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Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2018 01:25 pm
I think that football or baseball teams worrying about changing their team names and logos because of the negative response of the fans is overblown. It would take about 3 days and 3 six packs for fans to get used to a name change. If they want to change the name of the Dallas Cowboys to the Dallas Plowboys, it's fine with me. In fact, I often refer to them as the Dallas Plowboys as, I'm sure, many fans do all in. good fun. Fans are not as simple-minded as owners think they are. All the owners care about is the bottom line.

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Real Music
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2018 11:01 pm

The Cleveland Indians are dropping the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms next year after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature used in one version or another since 1947 is racist.

The move, announced Monday, came after protracted discussions between team owner Paul Dolan and baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The cartoonish image of a big-toothed American Indian with a scarlet face and a single feather in his headdress will come off the team's sleeves and caps starting with the 2019 season, when Cleveland will host the All-Star Game.

"Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game," Manfred said in a statement. He said the logo "is no longer appropriate for on-field use."

The decision is unlikely to quell complaints from Native American organizations and others who see the symbol — and the team's very name — as insensitive. The Indians will continue to wear the Wahoo logo in 2018, and even after it is gone from the uniform, the club will sell merchandise featuring the mascot in the Cleveland area.

"I'm elated," Philip Yenyo, executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio, said of the decision to remove Wahoo from uniforms. "But at the same time, I think it should be this year. I don't understand why they're drawing this out. It doesn't make any sense to me, unless they want to continue to make what's basically blood money."

He added: "Just make the leap already."

Yenyo and others have demanded that the team go further and drop "Indians" as its name: "If they don't get rid of the name, then you're still going to have fans going down there wearing headdresses and painted in redface."

Amid the intensifying debate, the club has slowly moved away from the logo in recent years. The Indians replaced it with a "C'' as their primary logo and removed signs depicting Chief Wahoo from Progressive Field, the team's ballpark.

There was no immediate reaction from Indians players.

"It's a big disappointment," Jeremiah Baker said at a sporting goods store in suburban Westlake as he picked through a clearance bin of caps with his wife and two children. "Chief Wahoo has been so iconic for so many years, and I understand that some people may be offended, but it's a blow to native Clevelanders."

National criticism and scrutiny over Chief Wahoo grew in 2016, when the Indians made the World Series and Manfred expressed his desire to have the team drop the symbol. During the playoffs, a lawsuit was filed while the club was playing in Toronto to have the logo and team name banned from Canadian TV. A judge dismissed the case.

The Indians' bid to host the 2019 All-Star Game heightened the debate.

"While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I'm ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred's desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019," Dolan said in announcing the decision.

The presence of the Wahoo logo is likely to remain strong in the stands on caps, T-shirts and signs, and other Native American references in the stadium will probably persist. For over 40 years, one fan, John Adams, has pounded a tom-tom in the left-field bleachers.

The team will continue to sell Chief Wahoo gear because if it stops doing so, it will lose ownership of the trademark, and others will be able to use the symbol as they please.

Reaction to the announcement was swift on social media as fans took sides on a touchy topic that has become part of the Cleveland sports landscape for generations.

Every year, Native American groups have protested outside the stadium before the home opener in hopes of getting the Indians not only to abolish Chief Wahoo but to change the team name.

Many fans are dedicated to preserving Chief Wahoo and see the logo as a symbol of the city's resurgence in the mid-1990s, when the Indians opened their new ballpark and the team made the World Series for the first time since 1954.
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