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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. The Common Man - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    As usual, I’m really glad this is happening. I’ll be happier when that logo’s totally gone. The capital-C looks far more badass anyway.

    • gigab0t - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Love the C

      • UgglasForearms - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        Looks like we’re in the minority on that one b0t.

    • The Common Man - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Update: Bummer.

  2. boredfriday - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I’m not racist, but this is good news and I’m happy with the direction the Indians are headed on this.

    Happy, Craig?

  3. UgglasForearms - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    The block C is very cool.

  4. Samuel - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Reblogged this on But at the end of the day… and commented:
    I get why Chief Wahoo is offensive and if it disappears, I can understand it. But maybe because I have a soft spot for this team that Wahoo has always been my image of the team. One of my favorite Indians jerseys of all time is the vest where Wahoo is right on the left chest. Then again, I’ve been expecting this with the logo being minimized on the cap and introduction to their new wordmark. If this is the road to the end, I will miss it. But I understand.

  5. gbar22 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I hope they don’t cave and change their name but I can definitely see where that caricature needs to go and if it were any other race other than Indian it would be a big deal.

  6. Matt Hunter - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Craig us white people rightfully conquered the Indians and we therefore deserve to put them on helmets and uniforms. Stop being such a politically correct liberal! Freedom has just disappeared in this country as this article shows, to the point where whites are the ones being discriminated against (led by the Anti-white Muslim Communist Fascist Black president Barack HUSSEIN Obama of course)!!!!! All this is PC crap is just reverse racism!! Enough is enough. It’s time for Whites to take the country back after being oppressed for so long.

    • oasiserfede - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:35 PM


    • blacksables - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Who peeled the onion?

    • Matt Hunter - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      Damn not enough sarcasm

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Seriously, how did people not miss this? Especially the oppressed white line.

      • Matt Hunter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        If you thought that was definitely sarcasm you clearly didn’t read the comments here:

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        Have you seen those Burger King commercials? I think that justifies that SBNation article…

    • El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      You forgot to write that in the sarcasm font. I know you were being facetious because no one alive is that obtuse.

      • El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        I believe the font is called sarcastica.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        Seriously. “/s” Use it and we’ll all get along.

  7. El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    The marginalization is admittance of guilt. Just be rid of the damn thing already. They could easily turn this into a positive PR opportunity.

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      My sentiment exactly. Why not mine that instead of wasting the opportunity with a slow fade-away?

      • El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        RE UPDATE: They clearly don’t feel guilty b/c they are unworried about continuing to marginalize Native Americans. Good for them to stick to their guns. Assholes.

      • blacksables - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Yeah, who do they think they are? The government?

  8. janessa31888 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I ‘ve got a pair of Chief Wahoo earrings. They were very heavy and I don’t wear them anymore (for many reasons) but I haven’t thrown them out because the last time i wore them was the last time I saw Cliff Lee pitch as an Indian. Despite all of the recent moves, I still resent Mark Shapiro for the stupidity of that trade and the pile of garbage we got in return for a Cy Young winner. Our starting pitching has never been the same.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      While I appreciate you actually discussing the game of baseball as played on the field and the moves of the front office…
      You should know 98% of the people on HBT would much rather get up in arms about something.
      You know…create drama and RAGE!

  9. spytdi - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:46 PM


  10. El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Craig, actually, they do marginalize the Wahoo logo in Arizona as you previously reported. Can the person who reached out to you enlighten all of us as to their reasoning for that? I’m sure it has nothing to do with the large amount of reservations in AZ and the higher sensitivity to said topic.

  11. gmsalpha - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    They really should change the team name. Indian = person from India. Last time I checked, these are
    professional baseball players and not call center reps.

    I love the C, by the way.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      No…Indian does NOT = person from India.
      Every single Indian I know (and there are many) refers to themselves as “Indian”…NOT Native American.
      Strangely, the are also fans of the Redskins, Braves, Indians and the Florida St. Seminoles.
      Even stranger…the ones I know could give a rats ass about this marginalization bullshit.
      They actually like the teams respective logo’s. It is seen as a sort of badge of honor.
      I know…it’s the darndest thing. Gasp!
      Forget all that…let’s create shit to RAGE! about.

  12. poprox13 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    its a baseball team, its not racist. Some people just like to find things to bitch about.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Change Indians to the favorite pejorative for the following people:

      African Americans

      Want to try your line of reasoning again?

      • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        I’m not a fan of the team’s name, but it’s the logo we’re talking about here. I can’t believe it still exists. The team name? Bad, but not awful. D-minus.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      As a long-time fan of the Boston Red Sox, let me assure you that a baseball team can be racist.

  13. yahmule - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    The Dolan family has always been very explicit in their belief that their little Red Sambo is a wonderful logo and mascot.

  14. steveohho - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    If Chief Wahoo has to go because its offensive to American Indians, then the Yankee name needs to go. Because after all, who took their land, rail-roaded them on the reservation to make way for the Union Pacific but those damn Yankees?

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      I have to tell you, a lot of southerners participated in said land-thievery. Go ahead. Call them Yankees. They loooooove that.

  15. southpaw77 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    That block C is lame as that Cubs C. How many C logos are out there already. Cincy, Cubs, Colorado has a CR, Twins have a TC. Enough already.
    Nothing but losing has been tied to that block C go look it up.

    The Indians are honoring Louis Sockalexis, a native Americaan who played for them in the 1910’s. If the Indians cave to this, next will be the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves and KC Chiefs. Then who knows, maybe PETA will boycott animal names. Everyone is offended these days, its unreal.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      If the Indians cave to this, next will be the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves and KC Chiefs.


      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM


  16. lucien7116 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    In**ans, B**ves, Red**ins…they all need new names

    • nolanwiffle - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      You’re so offended you couldn’t even bear to type the names? Heroic.

      • lucien7116 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        Not heroic, but thanks anyway….just making the point that is how other similar offensive words usually appear in print.

  17. bstras2809 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    This is ridiculous. There’s nothing racist about Chief Wahoo. It’s as much a cartoon image of an Indian as Elmer Fudd is a hunter. Get a grip and start focusing on something other than a team’s logo.

  18. eagles512 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    What a joke. It’s one if the best symbols in baseball. Don’t bow down to the idiots.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      No, best symbol in baseball is the OE D. After that, you have the red stockings, NY logo, Mr. Met, the Scranton Porcupine, etc. The “Chief” is way down the list with that ugly freaking thing at the Marlins’ stadium that only a fetishist like OG could love.

  19. ytownjoe - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Block C? Give me a break. What a nothing logo.

    The Tribe has been playing in the American League for 100 years and Cleveland fans have been supporting this team, nicknamed the Indians, through good times and bad.

    The ownership knows that if they walk away from Chief Wahoo, the fans will walk away from the team.

    Professional liberals . . . on their endless search for victims. Stay out of Cleveland. Go help some Native Americans on the reservations. Put your money where your mouth is.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Yes, indeed. Cleveland doesn’t need us crazy liberals telling them what to do. They’ll elect mainstream conservatives like Dennis Kucinich, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Marcia Fudge on their own, thank you very much.

      Liberals, stay out of Cuyahoga County!

    • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      As recently as 2010, you were last in the AL in attendance. So chill on the “in good times and bad” crapola.

    • lucien7116 - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Just because it’s been around a long time doesn’t make it right.

      And anyway…I thought a wahoo was a type of sport fish?
      Cleveland Wahoos … I’m sure they could do better than the Marlins

  20. wgray981 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    LEAVE CHIEF WAHOO! Seriously, do you see white people getting all riled-up over the goofy Celtic on the Boston Celtics logo? Or white people getting upset about the Yankees? NO! The people who protest this are just bitter because they lost their land 200 years ago.
    Let it go. The Chief stays.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:15 PM


      Now if you can come up with a plausible explanation for how the South didn’t actually “lose” the Civil War, you will officially be qualified to teach U.S. History in any state south of Maryland.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        You’re trolling me, right? Because you know that shit kills me.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM


        I don’t really know your background.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Wow, you may be one of the only people on here who hasn’t been annoyed by one of my history rants. lol

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        I will look forward to the first time.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        You will not like it. It is incredibly annoying (like she said).


  21. hojo20 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    I hope the Indians scalp the competition in the AL Central.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Like Yankees? Oh, that’s right, we don’t stereotype white people for scalping. FYI, in MA, the government used to pay rewards for Indian scalps.

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM


      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Um, he was talking about Indians scalping people, so I pointed out that they weren’t the only ones who did that — but we don’t tend to say “Yankees scalp” people. I’m pointing out the double standard. Geez, got your thinking cap on today?

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        I think his/her wordplay was an attempt at making a harmless joke.

        And I have an MLB authentic interview cap, batting practice cap, and gameday cap……I was not aware there was a thinking cap. Shit.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        I might be subtly suggesting it was not a harmless joke…

  22. ytownjoe - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    455 sell-outs in a row. Winning sells tickets. Chief Wahoo sells jerseys and ball caps.

  23. cocheese000 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    I think the Minnesota Vikings need to change their name and mascot. It is very racist to Scandinavian people.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      Seriously, how many accounts did you set up to troll from? Your handle choices are juvenile — and not even in an interesting or stupidly amusing way.

      • cocheese000 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        This is my only account moron. And I actually got that from my psychology professor that has a phd. You’re are just pissed because I am totally right.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      While your handle choices may be juvenile…
      I am prepared to RAGE! with you on behalf of the Scandinavian people(s).

  24. tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Settle down everyone who isn’t in the offended group but has the opinion that the offended group shouldn’t be offended….

    Chief Wahoo will be back and drunker than ever.

  25. thebuzzonny - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Chief Wahoo stays. Country is too damn PC already.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      I agree.

      I can’t believe I had to retire all my “Dumb Pollack” jokes just because everyone is so damn sensitive.

      And don’t even get me started on the you-know-whos….you know what I’m talkin about.

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