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?

5 Responses to “Irony”

  1. I don’t get how its offensive, sorry. Should the A’s change their logo to appear Elephant rights advocates? How about the Cardinals? ever notice how big the Birds on the Bat really are? Are we saying that cardinals are obese?

    How about the Angels? Let’s keep God out of out national sport. Where does it stop?

  2. Alejandro Leal says:

    Are you serious, eth3l?

    Are you really comparing a group human beings – American Indians – with circus animals?

    And I actually don’t think it should stop, I think it needs to start by at least having a good bit of common sense.

  3. Jojo Fireball says:

    I understand the criticism from both sides of this issue. I am from Okla and attended a high school with “Redskins” as the mascot. Things were done in a tasteful way and even a TeePee was built to scale that our football players ran through before entering the field. And I was always and still am proud to be a “Redskin”.

    But on the other hand the Cleveland mascot is a CARTOON drawing. It makes a mockery of every stereotype that Native Americans have spent centuries trying to overcome and until someone stands up for their rights, other than they themselves, the stereotypes will live on.

  4. I fail to see how having a life size teepee for football players to run through is in anyway tasteful.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    My mom was once standing in line at the supermarket and heard a woman in front of her talking with a friend, fuming about these mascots, saying, “No other ethnic group is used as a mascot. Show me one. One!” Whereupon my fearless mother innocently piped up, “What about the Boston Celtics?” Not to mention the ever-popoular high school team mascot, the Trojans, or other people-as-mascot groups like the Knights, the Cavaliers, the Brewers, the Steelers, the Packers, the Rangers, or, in the case of UPenn, the Quakers. Since no one seems particularly upset that Penn is the Quakers or that Texas is the Rangers, I fail to see how naming a team in Florida “the Seminoles” is inherently offensive.

    That said, Chief Wahoo has got to go. While the “Redskins” name is certainly higher on the offend-o-meter, the Washington Redskins’ logo is a paragon of taste in comparison.

    And Coley, as an honorary Atlantan, how could you leave out the Braves?

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