I wanted to share this message that my buddy Paul posted on our fantasy bulletin board:
Tomorrow’s “Civil Rights Game”, where MLB will honor the efforts of the civil rights movement and its catalysts, will feature the Cleveland Indians – A team whose logo features a man with red skin coupled with the fine detail of the red feather protruding from his headband.
Irony, indeed. I’ve never bought the fact that any team named after a Native American tribe could be considered a tribute to those people, even names like the Blackhawks and Seminoles. But whatever. It doesn’t keep me up at night. What does really amaze me are teams that continue to use logos like the Cleveland Indian’s “Chief Wahoo” or names like “Indians or, even better, “Redskins.” I swear to god, if I ever get a sports team, I’m going to name it the Atlanta Negros and our mascot is going to be a white guy running around in black-face. You know, as a tribute to the African American people.
Seriously, would that be any more offensive than calling a team the Redskins? Why is it that we’re totally cool with offending one ethnic group, but not another?
It’s no secret that this all comes down to money. In today’s corporate world, “branding” is everything. If you have an established brand, that’s priceless. But when that brand starts to be represent racism, more than winning or family fun, I think it’s time to think about switching mascots. The Washington Bullets, now Wizards, did it. Cleveland, what are you waiting for?