The Cleveland Indians announced earlier this year they would soon remove their Native American mascot, Chief Wahoo, from baseball athletes’ uniforms.
However, it seems, some people just can’t understand the concept of how racist and insulting to the Native American community the logo actually is.
On April 6, people gathered outside Progressive Field for the Cleveland Indian’s 25th opening day — as they have done for the past quarter of the century — and protested against the disrespectful logo and the team’s name.
The demonstrators marched from West 25th Street to the Ontario Avenue side of Progressive Field where they held up banners and chanted at the people coming at the park. However, they were met with an opposing force.
Cleveland Indian fans hurled racial slurs and insults at Native Americans and activists demonstrating against Chief Wahoo. Some people, brandishing T-shirts, jackets and hats featuring the racist mascot yelled “long live the chief” and “we love Wahoo” as they passed the demonstrators. Others made rude and obscene gestures as they passed by.
Then Cleveland.com published some really ugly behavior on YouTube.
“You f***ing Marxist a**holes! F*ck you, f*** you Trotsky motherf***ers!” yelled one man.
Another man told the demonstrators to “get a f***ing job.”
Some people even had the audacity to make war cries as they walked by wearing Chief Wahoo shirts.
Another man seemed to think the demonstrators were hired actors.
“They hired these people. This is ridiculous,” he said.
However, some fans are resigned to the fact the logo will be disappearing from the uniforms next season.
“What do you want?” some fans asked. “You already won.”
In January, opponents of the logo acknowledged the decision to remove Wahoo from the team’s uniform. However, they also want the Cleveland Indians to change its name, something the team is not willing to do. It has also emerged that while the mascot will no longer be featured on the team’s jersey, its merchandise will still be readily available in stores across northern Ohio and the team shop.
But activists believe — and rightly so — that “less Wahoo” is not good enough. On one side, a deeply oppressed and marginalized community finds a false impression of a Native American leader highly offensive. However, on the other side, white Americans insist the mascot is not meant to be disrespectful while making stereotypical war cries.
The insult to Native Americans by the team will only stop once all merchandise featuring Wahoo is gone and team’s name is changed. Period.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS