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UPDATE: No, the Indians are not walking away from Chief Wahoo

Apr 2, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT

UPDATE: The whole marginalization idea has always been my gut feeling, not some fact I’ve heard from anyone. And if there was any doubt about that, I was just contacted by the Indians who quite politely told me that I’m reading way too much into this (shocker, because, like, I NEVER do that. Ahem):

We wanted to reach out to clarify something, re: Chief Wahoo, about which we saw your post this afternoon. There are absolutely no plans to phase out Chief Wahoo, as some folks have speculated on social media. The details:

  • Nothing is changing on our 2013 uniforms except for the batting helmets. By MLB rule – with the new helmets being universally adopted – teams were only allowed one logo and not a different helmet for home and road.

  • Secondly, Chief Wahoo remains on our traditional home cap, our alternate road cap and every uniform sleeve.


5:20 PM: I’ve said for years that the Indians will never issue some press release announcing the end of the ugly and racist Chief Wahoo logo. They’re too savvy for that and don’t need the blowback.  But they will, I have predicted and in some cases observed, marginalize Wahoo. They’ll do a long, slow phase-out to the point where he’s not the face of the franchise and where, if he is ultimately eliminated, it won’t be a big deal.

Is this the latest datapoint to that effect?

Here’s hoping!

Nice move, Cleveland. Taking him off the one TV shot — isolation on the batter — which probably gets more screen time than any other.

Next move: take him off the sleeves of those home and road alternate jerseys, which clearly don’t need them. Then you’re poised for home caps.

115 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. thebuzzonny - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    BREAKING NEWS: Chief Wahoo was just spotted in Burger King wearing a Redskins hat.

    Lets get that SOB!

  2. waiverclaim - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    But what about the deep, rich history of the nickname???

    Lets consult wikipedia:

    “The “Indians” name originates from a request by the club owner to decide on a new name, following the 1914 season. In reference to the Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves), the media chose “the Indians”.

    Oh. So there isnt any. Why wasn’t this changed 30 years ago??? Total travesty.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      “We need a new name. Something cool like The Braves but, you know….not so confusing….”

  3. BrownsTown - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I’ll not say a word about a name and/or logo change if it makes the horrible sarcasm and satire of Craig and Matt Hunter cease. Seriously, I’ll sign right now.

  4. southpaw77 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    if that logo is a racist stereotype then what is the Fighting IrIsh logo?
    All irish people look like that and want to fight?

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      It is, indeed, culturally insensitive….

      But since they culture doesn’t CARE it’s not really an issue.

      George Carlin will answer your question though: “Being Irish, I guess I should resent the Notre Dame nickname, “The Fighting Irish.” After all, how long do you think nicknames like “The Bargaining Jews” or “The Murdering Italians” would last? Only the ironic Irish could be so naively honest. I get the feeling that Notre Dame came real close to naming itself “The Fuckin’ Drunken, Thick-skulled, Brawling, Short-dicked Irish.”

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        There’s a special place in Hell for anyone who would thumbs down George Carlin’s words.

        Even if the words were “I just banged your wife” you say “Thank you sir. That is quite a compliment.”

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      The difference is that a leprechaun is a trickster figure in Irish lore. It is not a stereotype of all Irish people. If you want to use a trickster figure from Native American tales, you would use a coyote or something. In white folklore it would be a wolf or fox. Now, if they used the 19th century cartoons that made Irish people look like apes, you bet your ass I would be protesting.

  5. thebadguyswon - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Much ado about nothing.

  6. bricktop02 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Enough is enough. You politically correct a$$holes have to stop bitching about every little thing that comes down the pike. Don’t cave in Tribe. But you know the saying ” The squeaky wheel gets the oil”

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      If it’s such a petty little thing, change it and it’s done. You won’t have to hear any more bitching about it then.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      I like people who get offended by other people getting offended by something that doesn’t bother them (usually because they aren’t in that group).

      Are you mad because they are trying to take something so precious from you….or are you mad because you’re dumb and/or lazy and don’t understand or don’t want to make the effort to understand someone’s position?

  7. mrwhite07 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I’m 100% Native American and I definitely do NOT find Chief Waahoo to be offensive. And anyone who does is in idiot! Actually grow a pair and get over it! What’s soo racist about it? He’s red, so is my skin during the summer…he likes to laugh and have a grin on his face, as do I. No problem with that symbol whatsoever!

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      I call bullshit. If you were Indian you would word that completely differently — and probably address the fact that so many leaders from various nations have made public statements about these mascots (including at the recent symposium sponsored by the Native American museum in DC). Not clever at all.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        How odd that his user name is Mr. White. I’m in no position to call bullshit or not (and neither are any of us).

        Sometimes, I hate the Internet.

  8. thebuzzonny - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Chief Wahoo was spotted in the crowd in Toronto. Rumor has it he got the tickets from, you know, one of those guys outside the stadium. And then after the game he is going to eat at his favorite restaurant. They are usually busy, but he made reserv……he made the proper arrangements.

  9. speedstickmusk - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Chief wahoo is the best logo in sports… Nothing wrong with it…. Never has been, never will be. It will only be changed because people like you have nothing else to complain about.

  10. ezthinking - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Don’t worry, this crap will turn up at least twice more during the season and a couple times in the off-season. Craig is offended, but can’t show that real Indians are.

    Come on up here to Indian Country, out to the reservation, I’ll show you some things that are really offensive.

    Until then, save your false outrage and bury these trolling articles.

    • thebadguyswon - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      I love it.

      To summarize, white people with a political bent to the left are more likely to be “offended” than members of the racial subgroup being persecuted. Got it.

      • yahmule - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        Yeah, you got it, alright.

  11. yahmule - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Here are a whole bunch of Native Americans who will tell you in their own words exactly what they find offensive about these team names.

    But don’t click on the link and educate yourself. Just enable one another’s ignorance by saying “liberal” and “PC” over and over. That’s what you always do. It’s so much easier than opening your mind.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      They don’t want to be educated. People are on here just trolling — because they are worthless human beings. (There are a few exceptions, but mostly just trolls.)

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        I don’t know how name-calling really advances your ideas. Do you mean to say that anyone who doesn’t share your opinion on this particular issue is a “worthless human being”?

        Stick to baseball chat.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        No, I don’t mean that, but there are clearly people on this post who are not attempting to express honest opinions and are just trolling. I noted there were a few exceptions; however, I’m sure you can see that a number of the posts here are not by regular commenters, with whom I would have a serious discussion. The trolls are just horrible people who seem to enjoy saying hateful things. There is no educating ill will.

  12. yahmule - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    This board has the goddamnedest demographics. Native Americans, who comprise less than two percent of the United States population seem strangley over represented here on HBT. Interestingly, most of them never post except to offer their unflinching support for a demeaning stereotype that insults their heritage.

    • thebadguyswon - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Why are you so angry? Why does your vision of the world have to be what everyone else’s is?

      • yahmule - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        I’m not angry. I’m expressing my opinion. Your vision of the world isn’t universally accepted, either. See how easy it is to stalemate a stupid strawman argument?

    • thebadguyswon - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      How – exactly – does that logo demean insult Native American heritage? Please enlighten my non-liberal mind.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        He posted a link above. You could use that to enlighten your small-ass mind, but you probably won’t.

      • thebadguyswon - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I love how Libs resort to insulting anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        Wow, yeah, that was complimentary.

      • yahmule - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:43 AM

        It’s not my job to bring you up to speed as a human being.

      • thebadguyswon - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        Oh I see….I’m not a complete human being if I’m not offended by a cartoon logo.

  13. ytownjoe - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Watch out. They may go the warpath.

  14. tuberippin - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    “We just wanted to let you know we’re going to continue being disrespectful to Native Americans by having a red-faced caricature of an Indian, named Chief Wahoo, on our baseball caps. Thank you for your interest in the club.”

    — Cleveland Indians front office to Craig Calcaterra, 4/2/13

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      Hmmm, I wonder if the trolls are their marketing staff then. lol

  15. denny65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    [yawn] What were we talking about?

  16. bricktop02 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    I wonder if the bird lovers will start complaining about the Baltimore & Toronto logos.

    • jarathen - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Leaving the rest of the argument alone, birds aren’t people. They’re birds. I love birds. Feed them, watch them, all that. And they don’t care and have no ability to consent or not to the logo.

  17. a125125125 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Typcial Calcaterra: 1) make something up / 2) get called out / 3) act like it’s no big deal that you’re using a national platform to make up things

    Also…..good for the Indians. Keep Chief Wahoo forever. Don’t give in to worthless little sissies like Calcaterra and his soft-hearted commentator army!

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      I was waiting for you to weigh in on the wrong side of this one. What took you so long?

  18. thenaturalmevs - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    They’re not moving away from Chief Wahoo, yet they’re moving away from Chief Wahoo. This sucks.

  19. stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Alright people. I have had enough. I am officially boycotting Cracker Barrel until they change their name to “Barrel.” I mean it. I am insulted. I am saddended. I am outraged at their lack of sensitivity.
    It boarders on racism. Who’s with me on the Cracker Barrel boycot.

    • lucien7116 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      I’m with you! Both me and my heart doctor…but I will miss the greasy toast….

      Maybe we should all boycott “Dum Dum” brand suckers…for obvious reasons…. :-)

  20. The Grand Occident - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Last I checked Whites defeated Indians for various territories in America. Therefore we will use any name we damn well please.

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