The Cleveland Indians will play in the World Series in 2016. This is the first time the team has made it this close to the championship in 19 years. This is no small accomplishment. However, some of that accomplishment will be overshadowed by a controversy regarding the logo for the Cleveland Indians. Named Chief Wahoo, many people view the logo to be an offensive caricature of Native Americans and Native American culture.
Grumblings about the logo are common. However, a bold step was taken by an activist in Toronto. A man named Douglas Cardinal tried to get a judge to issue an injunction to prevent the Cleveland Indians from using the logo on their uniforms while playing in the American League Championship Series. The judge declined, but the process alerted people with similar feelings in Cleveland. Thanks to Cardinal’s legal tactics, the Chief Wahoo logo is now being framed as a human rights violation. It remains to be seen if this tactic will be successful over the long term.
The Chief Wahoo logo is also only part of the problem. Many people also feel using the word Indians in the team name is also offensive. The term is considered by many to be both inaccurate and derogatory. As for now, the World Series will continue with both the team name and the team logo of a grinning Chief Wahoo. Representatives of Major League Baseball have gone on the record stating that they are aware of concerns regarding the team name and logo, but the organization has not stated it will be forcing any changes to take place. Time might be the only thing that can do that.
Categories: Chief Wahoo, Native American Culture, Native American History