The racist image of Chief Wahoo that adorns all kinds of merchandise for the Cleveland Indians has long been a flashpoint for controversy. Despite the protests against it, the team has kept it on, citing that hoary old excuse of ‘tradition’ when the likely reason is that many fans love it and are willing to find excuses, however weak, for keeping it on, and the team owners don’t want to offend them. The fact that the Indians went to the championship finals last year has brought more national attention to the image, and the reviews were not good.
So it was heartening to read today that the Major League Baseball commissioner is exerting some pressure on the team owners to get rid of that ghastly caricature.
The Indians released the following statement on the issue Wednesday:
“We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo- those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a long standing attachment to its place in the history of the team. We fully expect to work with the Commissioner throughout the remainder of this season on finding a solution that is good for the game and our organization. Our primary focus right now is on the team and our pursuit of returning to the postseason.”
Here is a short video of the history of the logo that shows how blatantly racist its origins are. It contains information that was new to me.
Instead of weaseling around, the owners should just bite the bullet and get rid of that damned thing.