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The Indians are surveying attitudes about Chief Wahoo

Oct 23, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Well, not just Chief Wahoo. Lots of things. But Wahoo is in there.

Via my friend Monte the Color Man, the Indians are sending out surveys to people who have purchased tickets through their website or who are otherwise registered there, and it covers all manner of topics. In-game experience, uniform styles and expectations about the Indians’ future.

But there are a couple of questions in the middle that piqued my interest:




The Indians have said directly that they are not considering any changes in the logo and that they’re not moving to marginalize the Chief Wahoo logo.  But they are interested in fan sentiment on the matter, so that’s interesting.

Of course, the issue here isn’t whether Chief Wahoo is popular. He is. The issue is that, popularity be damned, he’s offensive, so I would hope that the Indians would make a decision to eliminate the logo out of simple decency, not because of some poll results.

Not that the poll results will inspire them to do it, I’ll bet. After all, the Wahoo logo’s popularity comes by virtue of fans who are attached to it out of nostalgia and team dedication. Thus, by sampling opinion of people who seek out Indians tickets and/or merchandise in the first place, it’ll probably skew towards favoring the ugly thing.

  1. dracko19 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Craig’s on the warpath! Honestly, Chief Wahoo is about as offensive to Indians as Spongebob is to sponges.

    • vanquish0916 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      And you’re in a unique position to know this because…. ?

    • maikoch - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      • bfunk1978 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        I’m glad we got to see that image again.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        Sure, if you’re going to accept the word of those who represent American Indians. I heard there’s this guy who says his grandmother is 1-8th Cherokee, and he says SHE doesn’t find it offensive.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      And here we have a major problem in terms of your understanding the controversy. Sponges are not synonymous with Native Americans.

      A Sponge is not a human being.
      Sponges have not been cordoned off to reservations.
      A caricature of a sponge does not emit emotion regarding sponges.
      Spongebob Squarepants was not drawn by a suburban 15-year-old in hopes of winning a contest.

      The Cleveland Spiders is a badass team name, IMO.

      • pilonflats - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        you made some good points, but then the “spiders”? maybe if they were a 1950’s car club or a kids soccer team, but not a mlb team…but while we are on the subject how about the Cleveland Cows…they are not booing the are Mooooooing!!!

      • blacksables - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Do Indians object when Jewish people refer to themselves as ‘members of the tribe’?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Probably not, BS. But I can see how a Jewish person might frustrate your feeble mind.

      • blacksables - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        Well, my grandmother was Jewish, so you’ve just insulted your own people.

      • mrmafaka - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        The Cleveland Spiders is the name of the 2ND professional baseball team in Cleveland, the Cleveland Blues were first, but I like Spiders better, but the Indians the most.

    • Tim OShenko - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      And if sponges had a voice, they would cry out against that crude, offensive caricature.

      • anxovies - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        So, if Vegas got a MLB team and named it the Casinos, would that be an insult to Native American culture?

    • mshorval - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      If your not Indian,who are you to say. The African American found Sambo offensive and its gone now.I am not Indian but I do not care for the logo and most people who are not Cleveland Indian fans find it to be silly. However my main reason for banning it is because it represents a losing organization. They have never won any world series since Chief Wahoo was around and Chief Wahoo is a LOSER.Its time to move forward and have a new logo.Not one where the rest of the world thinks of it as a joke.

      • enjoymoreradio - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        I’m pretty sure you’re wrong about that:

        Note the patch on the left shoulder.

  2. perryt200 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    El Paso TX

    • jarathen - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      And to think they could’ve been the Sun Dogs, which would follow in the footsteps of the Rays as a team named after atmospheric phenomena.

      • maikoch - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        The Rays are named after a sea-dwelling animal.

        If you want atmospheric-phenomena-inspired teams, then you want the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Seattle Storm, the Miami Heat, the Miami Hurricanes, the Iowa State Cyclones, the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Colorado Avalanche, the Lake Elsinore Storm, etc…

      • jarathen - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        They WERE named the Devil Rays, but now it looks pretty much like a ray of sunshine to me.

        Ironically, they get a white ceiling indoors instead, but that’s another topic.

      • hbdbrowns33 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        That is not why the Tide were named. The Crimson comes from the fact that the Alabama team wore crimson socks and the Tide came from a reporter saying the defense washed over the opponents like a tide.

    • newlydead - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Chihuahuas? really? The best part of minor league ball is the team names and the best they could do is Chihuahuas?

      • rbj1 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Don’t knock Chihuahuas til you’ve owned one. I’m on my second and they are very determined little guys. Damn shame that they get associated with Paris Hilton. I wouldn’t inflict her on even the Red Sox.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Newly, chihuahuas won’t maul you like some other breeds, but they will annoy the crap out of you.

  3. newlydead - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    i think they should just name every sports team after the city they play in (or close proximity) and leave it at that. then we can be assured that no one’s feelings will ever be hurt again

    The Cleveland’s
    The Boston’s
    The New York’s
    The New York’s (yes each will be called the New York’s, deal with it)


    maybe since it is a privately owned entity, we can agree to allow the owners to call THEIR team what ever they please. If you don’t like it or agree with the name then stop supporting it, stop reporting on it, stop watching those games.

    Craig, if you do not like the name, how about you stop mentioning the team completely. stop giving their scores, news, info. If the owners then feel like the lack of support they are receiving due to the name is not worth it, then they will change the name on their own.

    • maikoch - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      This is a stupid comment, on so many levels.

      To start with, the “it’s a private business, they can do what they want” argument works well for other things, too. Like keeping baseball segregated. Or conspiring to keep salaries down with the reserve clause. Or shaking down cities for free stadiums. Do you think those are all good things?

      Beyond that, it is utterly impractical for a site like this to pretend a team does not exist. What would they do in the unlikely event that Cleveland made it to the world series? Do it Harry Potter-style? “The Giants will be facing off this week against ‘they who shall not be named’ for the World Championship”?

      And finally, I do not support Cleveland in any way with my money (except in an extremely indirect fashion, I suppose, by sometimes watching nationally televised games where the rights fees are split amongst all teams). But just because I’m already avoiding their hats, jerseys, tickets, etc., does not mean that I cannot ALSO register my dislike of their name through my written and spoken words.

      • newlydead - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        could you please tell me what law they are breaking? where on the books can i read this law? i believe the other situations you bring up all fall under some sort of law, at least in a round about way, but please tell me the written law that is being broken here.

        if there is not one then it is up to the owner(s) to decide what to call the team. if he (they) decide to change it or the logo so be it but if they don’t …. so be it.

        now it MLB comes out and says … from this day forward there shall be no team names/logos/etc that can be deemed derogatory blah blah blah …. then yes, it would need to be changed.

        and just because i am standing up for the owners given right here doesn’t mean i support the name/logo and by your response you obviously don’t understand the difference between moral right and legal right.

        moral right is a personal choice (i.e. non of my business)
        legal right is a governing body’s choice (i.e. what law is being broken?)

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Apparently, you’ve got some hurt feelings over other people not liking the caricaturization of other people, including the Native Tribes who happened to be here before most of the White men and their gobs of money.

      If you don’t like the argument, then you don’t need to read about it. To proclaim your superiority over the rest of us– because you’re NOT hurt by this discussion– is a joke.

      • newlydead - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        nowhere in my comment did i proclaim my superiority, i just stated that it is none of my business what someone names their entity. if you read it and thought that it showed superiority in anyway then that is a reflection on you and your thinking.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        My way of thinking is actually quite simple.

        The controversy is real, whether you admit to it or not.

        The fact that you spend your time making up some analogies that don’t quite fit into the argument means that the argument isn’t worth your time understanding. Which means you are superior to the argument, which, as you can tell, has been going on for about a century without your input.

        Funny how you take offense to being considered “superior” to the rest of us, even though you wrote: ” think they should just name every sports team after the city they play in (or close proximity) and leave it at that. then we can be assured that no one’s feelings will ever be hurt again.”

        Because you are in control of your feelings, and the rest of us are feeble minded boobs, I guess.

      • newlydead - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        again, it is you stating “Because you are in control of your feelings, and the rest of us are feeble minded boobs, I guess” … nowhere did i say that.

        you are missing the point, it doesn’t matter what i feel, say, think, etc, it is the owners team and they can name it (have any mascot) they want as long as they are not breaking any laws.

        people with swastika tattoos …. force them against their will to get them removed? honest answer …….

      • blabidibla - Oct 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Force them to remove the tattoo? No.

        Call them racist, idiot, F@*^WADS loudly in front of their family, friends, employer, and anyone else who will listen, sure.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      A little late to this one. I have avoided it because I really couldn’t stomach another drama filled, “think of the children…I and everyone else is offended” bullshit article. But I am bored tonight. So I am perusing through some of the past articles that I have intentionally skipped.

      That in mind…
      We don’t need your logic around these parts Newlydead. If you aren’t outraged…we don’t care.
      So take your well thought out, reasonable post and shove it up your level headed ass.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      “maybe since it is a privately owned entity, we can agree to allow the owners to call THEIR team what ever they please. If you don’t like it or agree with the name then stop supporting it, stop reporting on it, stop watching those games.”

      “moral right is a personal choice (i.e. non of my business).”

      “legal right is a governing body’s choice (i.e. what law is being broken?)”

      You will get absolutely nowhere with this. But I sincerely appreciate your efforts.

  4. johnnysoda - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    While I’m no fan of Chief Wahoo, man, that block C is ugly. If they’re gonna change the logo, pick something else.

    • jarathen - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Agreed. It is very generic. I like the “Indians” script much more.

    • pastabelly - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      I always thought the Chicago Blackhawks logo was pretty impressive. While some may consider it racist, it honors Native Americans a bit more than Wahoo.

  5. pilonflats - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM


    • 18thstreet - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      He makes a good point. No, wait. He doesn’t.

  6. babyfarkmcgeezax - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I fully expect Craig to stop supporting and being a fan of the Braves. Oh wait…

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      The Braves don’t have a racial caricature as their logo.

      • pilonflats - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      • nworca - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        But then there is that tomahawk chop thing their fans do.

  7. drelms - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Go calcaterra, once you have gotten everything you think is politically incorrect changed in sports maybe you could begin actually writing about what you know about sports. Oh that’s right, the only thing you know about sports is what you read about in the papers.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      I don’t get it. Are you chiding Craig for being well read about sports?

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      Psh, no one reads papers anymore.

    • nategearhart - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      “The LOGO’S not racist, YOU’RE politically correct!”

  8. eagles512 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    This at least has more of an argument than the name Redskins. But I still think people need to relax. I bet most Indians are honored.

    • eightyraw - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      That’s one amazingly stupid bet. Nothing helps ease suffering like seeing people in Cleveland wear merchandise with a ridiculous caricature.

    • canyonero9 - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      I am not going to speak for all Indians across the country but I have always liked the Chief Wahoo logo and have owned probably ten hats since childhood. I am actually a Cardinals fan but growing up in eastern Oklahoma most kids with any trace of Indian blood wore either Braves or Indians caps.

      I don’t know of a single relative or friend who is offended by Chief Wahoo, the screaming Braves logo or even the Redskins nickname. You want to know who really pisses them off? It’s not Dan Snyder it’s people like Elizabeth Warren who fake their heritage, and tribal chiefs who jump on stories like this hoping to become the Indian Al Sharpton.

      • eightyraw - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Yes, most Native Americans don’t really care about these logos/mascots. But not because they aren’t offensive. To some the names and imagery are offensive, and to some they aren’t – people will never reach a unanimous consensus. And being offensive to some Native Americans seems like a pretty good reason to reconsider things.

        The main reason the iconography isn’t of real concern: Native Americans face significant struggles on a daily basis. A change by a sports team won’t make Native Americans any less marginalized, so why focus on it? However, this in no way means certain names and images aren’t offensive.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      eagles, yes indeedy, Redskins is a fine name for an NFL team. It honors our continent’s first people just as respectfully and nobly as the name Darkies would honor our black citizens.

  9. schm1471 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Why don’t you and all like-minded fans start exclusively calling them the Cleveland Spiders? Have shirts made. Recruit newspaper columnists to join the cause. Eventually when the only people still calling them the Indians are the Indians front office, it might be easier to change.

  10. yahmule - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I think it’s an amazing thing that people will passionately defend an image that is clearly little more than a Red Sambo.

  11. pastabelly - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    It is quite possibly the most racist logo in professional or amateur sports in the US. Are there any more offensive?

  12. shadowcell - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    This seems to me like an effort to justify keeping it. Of course if they survey their fans, the results will skew towards keeping it, and then they can point at that survey and say “see, we surveyed our fans and they don’t find it offensive, end of story.” I’d be more impressed if they surveyed people outside the Indians fandom.

    • mikeinthevine - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      The Dolans have been attempting to squeeze Chief Wahoo out for quite some time. The block C is about as boring as their ownership. If they promise to sell the team, they can take the Chief Wahoo logo with them.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      I read the questions and I’m not impressed. I did not see any that ask if people find the caricature demeaning or if they think someone else might reasonably be offended by it. Bogus.

  13. jdhein22 - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    When are Spielberg and Lucas going to airbrush Major League and Major League II? Or will it just be banned?

  14. ramblingalb - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    The irony here, of course, is that Chief Wahoo is offensive to Craig, who is painfully PC and pretty much offended by everything. Hence, Wahoo may or may not be offensive to others, but Craig can’t tell the difference, as he’s too busy looking for things to be offended by to bother seeing how the free market feels about it.

  15. mikeinthevine - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Notre Dame must give up the Fighting Irish name immediately. It’s an affront to my Irish heritage!

    • eightyraw - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Irish Catholics adopted that name. Now how many Native Americans were involved in the naming and design process of the Cleveland Indians? This is why people ignore that false equivalency

      • mikeinthevine - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Lighten up Francis. It was sarcasm.

      • eightyraw - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM

        That comment is made seriously by many. Sarcasm is often difficult to infer on the internet.

    • dcarroll73 - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      Actually I am a good part Irish American (see my surname cleverly concealed in my signon?) and I am offended not by the name, “Fighting Irish”, (hey, some truth to that stereotype) but definitely by that cartoon image. Have any of you seen the vicious newspaper cartoons from the early 1800s depicting savage, stupid, ugly Irish thugs? This drawing isn’t far from that. I would rather that they dropped it. How about a deal? ND will work out the rights to use an inspiring image of Reagan as the Gipper, and the Cleveland Indians will get a handsome, kickass image of Jay Silverheels?

  16. kpsherwood - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    We are really going to far in this country, changing names of teams and mascots that were established years ago. When created, they were not meant as derogatory, and shouldn’t be considered as that now. This team, the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the list goes on. What’s next, is PETA going to go after all the teams with animal names? Leave politically correctness out of sports, heck, leave it out of everything. This is just BS.

  17. theghostofberniekosar - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    The Cleveland Spiders is a better name, anyway. Now if only we could find a way to get rid of Dolan and change the name at the same time.

    • enjoymoreradio - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      If only they weren’t most famous for having the single worst season in Major League history. It’s a good name, but I don’t want to associate the Tribe franchise with an even worse history of losing than it already has.

      • theghostofberniekosar - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        It was 1899…I challenge you to find someone who remembers that season.

  18. sillec28 - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Why isn’t FSU doing a survey to see how people feel about Sammy Seminole and that stupid spear he throws while riding on his mule? Or how about that faux-Indian chant they do that sounds like a bunch of people vomiting in unison? Or the tomahawks the players put on their helmits?

  19. xrayfrank - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Here we go again! Another sportswriter jumping on the bandwagon because its Politically Correct. makes for good copy. WHERE were all these people who think its offensive the past almost 100 years that the Indians & Redskins have been around all of a sudden they dont like it? Just another way to get their 15 minutes of fame. Bunch of phonies!

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