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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo Logo: Called Inappropriate For First Civil Rights Game

CHICAGO (TDB) -- The leader of the national civil-right group for Native Americans and Alaska Natives says Major League Baseball whiffed by choosing the Cleveland Indians to play this weekend in the sports' inaugural Civil Rights Game in Memphis against the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe A. Garcia says Chief Wahoo is racially offensive and shouldn't be around for the March 31 event that honors the movement that forced the nation to begin eliminating racial barriers and discriminatory practices.

''It is absolutely irresponsible to include a team such as the Cleveland Indians, whose buck-toothed Indian mascot promotes blatant racism, mockery and negative stereotypes of Native Americans. It's time for Chief Wahoo to go the way of Chief Illiniwek.

Garcia heads the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest organization for Native Americans. His group pushed the University of Illinois to eliminate its Illiniwek mascot and has successfully lobbied against such school nicknames Redskins, and is supporting the lawsuit that is attempting to strip the NFL team in Washington, D.C. of that name. It also was extremely active in efforts that led the NCAA to ban the use of Indian mascots and imagery from post-season play. Garcia's attack on Chief Wahoo were backed by Arlen Melendez, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who said putting the Cleveland Indians in the first civil rights game was a nutty decision.

"In 2001 the U.S. Commission on Civil Rghts publicly called for an end to the use of Native American images and team names by non-Native schools because they are disrespectful and offensive to American Indians and others who are offended by such stereotyping. While MLB has made many excellent and positive contributions to America's civil rights achievements, Cleveland's mascot and its association with the first Civil Rights game is particularly inappropriate."

Inquiring minds want to know: If Jackie Robinson were around, what might he say? And Dr. King, who was murdered in Memphis in 1968, certainly would have no truck with a racially offensive caricature. Is it time for Chief Wahoo to retire?


  1. Get rid of Chief Wahoo? What the heck, it's only a name. But what would they rename the team? I think they should stay in line with the football team; name it something that nobody knows what it is. (What is a Brown? Is it racial?) Or name them the Cuyahogas. Got a certain ring to it. Logo could be a burning river with a Cleveland skyline.

  2. I think the Chief is fine, but I never thought of their mascot in terms of the Civil Rights game. Good point.

    I find it hard to believe that the Indians and Cards were picked to play when the Indians had one black player last year and I believe the Cards either had one or none. Sometimes I wonder who is making these decisions, because MLB is just opening themselves up to controversy.

  3. Give me a break! Some people are never satisfied. Th Cardinals and the Indians paid tribute to the civile rights movement. Many of the players were emotionally touched by visiting the museum, and learning about the struggles of MLK and other African Americans.
    The St Louis Cardinals players sacrificed a great deal by playing and traveling just one day before their first Major League season began. But, there they were, paying homage to the civil rights movement. I applaud both teams and Bud Selig and MLB for their contribution to the civil rights movement.



  5. so how come the indians mascot is offensive to native americans but the Dallas Cowboys, and the Kansas City Royals teams are not offensive to Cowboys and royal parties?

  6. Chief Wahoo is an undignified and goofy representation of indians. I think it's a ridiculous logo. It is as wrong as having a logo of someone in blackface. We shouldn't name a team after races either. How stupid would it be to have the Atlanta Asians? And finally, the most offensive is when those ignorant Cleveland fans dress up like Wahoo. I'm not even native and I find that offensive.

  7. Wahoo is an embarrassment. There is no comparison to Cowboys and Royals. Wahoo is the only racial caricature currently accepted in our society today, and happens to be one that "potentially mocks the genocide of our nation's first people."

    Please read this about the Curse of Wahoo, and sign our online petition.

  8. I'm sorry but this has got to be the largest waist of time I could think of.
    So why NOW are they offended? The team has been around for ages with the same logo, and NOW 'cause they want to add stars and stripes it's offensive, or is it becauseof the game? Either eay itn's none of their buisness what the rest of USA does, they aren't part of it, obviously. If you want to call something offensive, make sure you don't approve it first then years from now call it offensive. I call you Native only schools offensive, esp when it's on US property. But that's the same with any to me, Univerity of african americans and all. If YOU want to call offensivness then maybe you should stop yourself. I have native in me, my friends are, same with African Americans. i have nothing against any "race" it's humans in general. I could think of MANY things that's offinsive towards me and others, but I have enough of a life I'm not pointing fingers, let them do what they want, it's not YOUR choice, if people like it they like it, your not going to influence this. BTW, the new hat is ugly and makes no sense.

  9. lojuan3311@yahoo.comMay 22, 2009 6:16 AM

    I'am native american and have served in the armed forces of this great country...while i think there is,and always will be varying degrees of prejudices...all high school, collegiate and professional sports that have ever encountered has put our people in a positive many caucasians in clevland are proud to be called "Indians"

  10. there is an issue at hand that i think goes unnoticed; personal feelings. that's what the problem seems to be. think if conversely it was told to you that you couldn't have wahoo. you'd feel wronged in some way. so think about what it means to have a part of you taken away and mocked and ultimately made light of. "oh, it's no big's just a cartoon..." is what they say. well it affects people. and it's negative. i think the native americans have every right to be upset and if they don't want it used, then they should have the right to eliminate it. but i feel that anyone outside of the native american culture should respect their feelings, apologize, and go back to being called the cleveland spiders.