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The Indians are changing their primary logo from Chief Wahoo to the block C

Jan 8, 2014, 12:13 PM EST

Got some controversial news you’d like to take cover from? How about letting it slip on Hall of Fame induction day? That seems to be what is happening here:

As Lukas notes, visually, this is not a big deal. We’re still going to see Wahoo all over the place. But make no mistake: this is a big deal. It’s a significant move which comports pretty nicely with what I have long suspected: Indians management’s desire to slowly, slowly marginalize Chief Wahoo with an eye towards his eventual elimination.

I first floated this idea a couple of years ago when I noticed that, at the Indians’ spring training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, Chief Wahoo is hard to find. The buildings and signage all feature the block C logo and the block C cap is worn far more often during spring training than in the regular season. With the introduction of the Indians’ alternate uniforms in the past few years — alternates that are worn far more often than most teams wear their alternates — my suspicions along these lines have increased.

Of course, the Indians have denied that they are phasing out Wahoo. As I probably would too if I were in their position. They have a large and loyal fan base who has been wearing that odious red-faced mascot on their caps and shirts for decades now. The team doesn’t want to make an abrupt change, with an attendant announcement, which effectively says “hey, fans? You all are racists in our eyes now, ok?” They also don’t want to lose merchandise sales. And to be clear, Wahoo still exists even on the alternate jerseys in the form of a sleeve patch and apparently still will even now that the official logo has changed.

But this fall the Indians surveyed fans about Wahoo. And the heat being brought to bear on the Washington Redskins for their racist name and iconography is no doubt being noticed on Ontario Street up in Cleveland. And, even if they once again deny it today, it’s impossible to see this move as anything other than a further marginalization of Chief Wahoo. One that, in my view, will inevitably lead to his elimination at one point in the not-too-distant future, even if it’s done without a press release or official announcement.

And good for the Cleveland Indians for doing so.

170 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    as a direct descendant of Prince madoc I am offended.

  2. rcali - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    I’m offended by the letter “C”

    • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Because C is for “clever”?

      • tuberippin - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        That’s what the “c” word is?

    • zeemail - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Is that the best C that the Indians could come up with. A block C? What imagination and creativity! I too am offended by the C and I want it banned from all caps and uniforms.

  3. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    all of this as my buccos replace the jolly roger with a gold block P. as all pirates, bucconneers, and scolly wags are deeply offended by the blatant disrespect of the Rogers Jolley

    • waltcoogan - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Pirates don’t constitute an ethnic group, wise guy.

      Nice try, though.

      • ChiGuy22 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        He was being facetious. I was going to say “obviously”, but apparently humor/sarcasm is lost on some.

  4. mikeinthevine - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    The Dolans have pretty much marginalized the franchise, no reason they shouldn’t do the same to Chief Wahoo. Sell the team Larry, you’re in way over your head.

    • zeemail - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      And I think that Craig Calcaterra should go with the Dolans!

  5. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    I think everybody on here should spend a day at an Indian reservation closest to home. then comment for real

    • beavertonsteve - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      I used to go on weekends quite a bit. I lost a lot of money though so I’ve tried to cut back.

  6. waltcoogan - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    … smart move by the franchise. The Chief Wahoo logo may have been charming or amusing to many white fans, but it constituted a hideous racial caricature from a bygone, less enlightened era, and there was no dignity to the logo in any event.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      When can we expect the FIghting Irish to change their logo?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        Psst. Leprechauns aren’t real.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        Neither is chief wahoo, thanks for making my point. It’s not offensive, and if you think it is, grow up.

      • mckludge - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Just because it isn’t offensive to *you*, hockeyflow33, doesn’t mean it isn’t offensive at all.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        I didn’t make your point. There’s no logic in your conclusion on that.

        It is offensive. And the “Chief” is a representation based on an insulting image of Native Americans. That’s the difference. No leprechaun is ever going to appear and complain about the Irish logo (which isn’t as stupid looking as the Indians’ one anyway). If you think it isn’t offensive, then you’re the one who’s growth-challenged. Now, run along to your hockey posts. The baseball fans are talking here.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        Well the team name is the fighting Irish so we should assume then that people of Irish descent are aggressive, right?

        Why should they portray him as balding with bad facial hair, isn’t this insulting to all Irish people?

        Look at how wide his stance is, and how his feet each point a different direction, this is offensive to Irish people with bad posture right?

        Bottom line is that if you’re offended by some cartoon character you need a reality check or need some hobbies. It’s a logo and if you don’t like it, root against that team and considering it’s the Indians, you have a good chance they’ll be terrible anyways.

        Because my handle has hockey in it, I’m only allowed to comment on hockey? What kind of stupid logic is that?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        How old are you?

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        Old enough to know that when you need to resort to asking someone’s age, you have conceded your argument.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        Honey, you haven’t given me anything deserving to be called an argument yet. Have a nice night. You’re too thick to bother.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        Well an argument isn’t subjective so the mere fact we disagree does indeed mean an argument occurred. I wouldn’t expect you to know that though since cartoon images hurt your feelings.

      • waltcoogan - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        … a typical white guy’s response. Notre Dame is essentially an Irish-Catholic institution; did Native Americans found and operate the Cleveland Indians?

      • waltcoogan - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        No, you grow up, hockey flow. Are you Native American? Then how do you know whether it’s offensive or not?

        You’re just a reactionary and I’d like to see your educational resume.

      • zeemail - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        No, Native Americans did not found the Indians. In 1915 the team was owned by coal magnate Charles Somers and tailor Jack Kilfoyl. Somers asked the local newspapers to come up with a new name, and based on their input, the team was renamed the Cleveland Indians. Legend has it that the team honored Louis Sockalexis. Sockalexis, a Native American, had played in Cleveland 1897–99. Research indicates that this legend is mostly untrue, and that the new name was a play on the name of the Boston Braves, then known as the “Miracle Braves” after going from last place on July 4 to a sweep in the 1914 World Series. Proponents of the name acknowledged that the Cleveland Spiders of the National League had sometimes been informally called the “Indians” during Sockalexis’ short career there, a fact which merely reinforced the new name.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        I’m offended that you’ve categorized all white people as one person…I like that you’re too dumb to realize your insulting people with the same issue you’re complaining about.

  7. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    prince/chief madoc came to mind today. madoc was an 11th century welsh prince who sailed west with his people creating the the madoc indians or the great white indians of the plains. lewis and clark wrote about these white indians who were a lighter shade of red with blonde and red hair and spoke welsh. supposedly the Sioux defeated them and they retreated to Tennessee. although the u.s. does not recognize them. The Cherokee and the Sioux do as they were enemies of both. as we are all Europeans with Indian descent. these people would be native Americans with European descent. sorry to get sidetracked.

    • meteorbladesone - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Legend. Read: Fairytale. There are no “Welsh Indians.”

  8. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    lol casino nice point

  9. provguard - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    That’s really neat. Now we have three teams that have “C” on the hats… I guess we are in the period where all humor is put to rest by the media…

  10. braxtonrob - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    If Wahoo is still on the home caps, then is this really all that noteworthy?

    I liked it better when they were the Cleveland Naps or Cleveland Spiders even. (I’m 118 years old BTW).

  11. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    lewis and clark would disagree. most idiots think Columbus discovered america and Oswald shot Kennedy.

  12. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I have ancestry.com to thank for that knowledge. so if they don’t exist. I am 96.4 % all here. lol argumentative

  13. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Washington deserves a name more suited for their city. senators, and wizards have been done. the capitals is a good one. but originality is needed here. I like drakes or mallards. maybe buzzards

    • raysfan1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      The Gridlocks.

  14. musketmaniac - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    child hood game cowboys and Indians. the Indians get killed. almost everyone wants to be the cowboy. The term Indian giver. Very disrespectful. I cannot think of a regular phrase or association of the word Indian in a positive way.

  15. enrolledmember - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    I’m offended by all the ignorant racist comments here.

    • jerseydevi1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Me too! All of this slamming of people who don’t agree with their point of view and name calling is getting old. I am a person of Northern American Birth and now live in The South. The term Yankee and Yankees is used as a slur, but I suppose we are ok with that team name. I also assume that the Texas Rangers name is ok, even though they were instrumental in the genocide of the Indians that we are so worried about upsetting. We were all up in arms about the Cincinnati Reds during the rise of the USSR and Communist Cuba, yet that name remains. The NHL has the Columbus Blue Jackets. I know several re-enactors that take offense to that one, given that is was the site of a Northern Prison Camp where 2,000+ Confederate soldiers diead and are buried.

      My point is that there is a way to “take” offense almost everywhere you look. I am quite certain that the owners of these teams don’t sit home at night and say “Let me think of a new and exciting way to offend someone.” Kinda goes counter to the whole in it to make money thing. Every year people buy the shirts, hats and paraphernalia of their favorite teams with the logos splashed all over them. How many do you think are used as as statement of racism or hatred? I know I’ll get a bunch of thumbs down and maybe a few comments, but seriously people, we have MUCH bigger things to worry about than the names of sports teams.

      • braxtonrob - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        @jerseydev, You’re absolutely right, let’s name the next expansion franchise the ~~ N~~~er’s.
        After all, the African American community has no right to be offended by this word, … because as you say,
        “there is a way to “take” offense almost everywhere you look.”, therefore, anything goes.

        Well said! (numnutz)

        {just because something is tradition and meant no harm by most, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed. There’s a time for everything, and the time for this change, I believe, is now.}

  16. tribebuckeyesteelercavfan - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    I love chief wahoo but at the same time understand the ethnic reasons for a possible change but the Block C is the ugliest and worst logo ever, if you get rid of Wahoo Dolan, RENAME THE TEAM AS WELL TO THE ROCKSTARS or something related to the cities ties to Rock N Roll

    • johnjensen2719 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself, tribebuckeyesteelercavfan.
      The block C logo is awful … far worse than the “C” they had in the 1970’s and early 80’s, http://www.ebay.com/ctg/1981-Topps-Jack-Brohamer-Cleveland-Indians-462-Baseball-Card-/97323570

      I agree that if the political pressure is to get rid of Chief Wahoo completely, let’s rename the team so we can have a decent logo … the former WNBA team used “Rockers,” and that seems like it would be a cool way to go. Or the Tribe’s minor league team in Eastlake is called the “Captains” … that would be another idea to steal.

      I love the Indians and have followed them for 35 years, all with Chief Wahoo in tow, but even I realize that it might be time to make an adjustment if for no other reason than to shut the vocal minority up!

  17. dawgpoundjedi - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    I just don’t get it. Wahoo wasn’t created to be offensive when it was originally created. So now that the world has gone RIDICULOUSLY p.c., all of sudden it’s become incredible offensive?

    Is it ok for me to be offended by people who are offended by the Wahoo logo? Should my level of offense be considered less than someone else’s? Because I am offended by all this stupid Redskins and Wahoo hate. People need to get a life. There are WAAAAYYY more offensive things in this world than a decades-old team logo.

  18. sparkyxproof - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    They Should bring back the TomaHawk C, like they wore on their caps in the Mid 70s. I thought that looked Cool.

  19. savior72 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    This does nothing to appease Native Americans. If you want to do that then give them back their land.

    • dylanthom2013 - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Maybe the Indians should give the land back to the people who were there before them, and maybe those people should give the land back to the people who were there before them, and maybe those people should give the land back to the trilobites who there hundreds of millions of years before them, and maybe the trilobites should give the land back to the single-celled bacteria who there billions of years before them etc.

    • dylanthom2013 - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Maybe the Indians should give the land back to the people who were there before them, and maybe those people should give the land back to the people who were there before them, and maybe those people should give the land back to the trilobites who were there hundreds of millions of years before them, and maybe the trilobites should give the land back to the single-celled bacteria who were there billions of years before them etc.

  20. the8man - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Pretty soon, there won’t be anything around to remind us that native Americans were even here, offensive or otherwise.

    Think about it.

  21. K.M. Kowalski - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Bring back the script “I.” It was classy. It went with the rest of the script “Indians.” And it made from great nametags for all the stadium and team personal: “I am ____.”
    The “C” has no character and looks like it could stand for Chicago or Cincinnati. Way too generic!

  22. musketmaniac - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    The red-legs have roots

  23. humptyhump13 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    What a bunch of soft hearted whine bags, these people against this subject ahould snap out if it and get into something that matters. The Indians, Redskins, Chiefs, Blackhawks are SPORTS TEAMS quit your pissing and moaning and worry about an issue that makes a difference.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      The complaint isn’t about derogatory names (like Redskins), it’s about a derogatory caricature.

      How would you like a team named the ‘Blackskins’ with related caricature?

      Get a clue.

      (And this STUPID argument that there are “more important things” to deal with. So, because there are “more important things” this issue must be ignored? Idiotic.)

  24. drachaarendee - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    After More then 20 Years of protesting by the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA), American Professional Baseball Team Stops Using Racists Chief Wahoo Logo….

    Chief Wahoo – “People Not Mascots” Logo
    Artist : David Jakupca
    Acrylic on Canvas 22″ x 28″ 1992 Signed Lower Right
    Current Owner assumed to be Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC)

    The ‘People Not Mascots’ Logo is meant to be a Native Americans protest caricature of the Cleveland Indians Baseball team. It was originally painted by David Jakupca at the historic ARK in Berea Ohio incorporating elements of the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts. It has drawn criticism from some sportswriters, fans and local businessmen, but gained immediate acceptance among humanitarian, Peace, religious groups and Native Americans. It gained international popular attention when it was it exhibited by ICEA at the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna Austria Official Travel Info and has become one of the most recognized anti-racists logo’s in existence. It also caused repercussions for the groups connected with using the logo in protest demonstrations and this has been documented in the
    INTERNECINE MATRIX..
    Reference Links:
    INTERNECINE MATRIX

    Post Script: ICEA fought the good fight against the Foundation Syndicate for twenty years, it did cost them lot of money too. How much Money? A little over 1 Billion by their own estimates.
    But it had consequences, our people were black-balled, some went bankrupt some were arrested for picketing against the baseball team – and still today it continues, you know you have never see ICEA mentioned in the PD, Sun Newspapers, Scene or any other local ‘reputable’ media sources – but that is the corrupt local non-profit sector for you

    However, I DO expect to see a lot of people NOW jumping on the band wagon and taking some undeserved credit!!

  25. cubb1 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Chief Wahoo aka The Happy Hunter is still one of the best logos in all of sports. It is unfortunate that PC America and the bandwagon media feels the sanctimonious need to tell all of us what is offensive.

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