A new baseball season is underway, which means we are locked in for another year of protests outside Cleveland Indians games over the use of the Chief Wahoo logo. The protests have been going on for decades in an effort to force the team to remove the racist logo from the franchise’s uniforms and marketing. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred seems to be taking steps in that direction, but as long as the team keeps using it, the protesters will continue to make their voices heard.
And if there are protesters bringing attention to the team’s logo, there will most certainly be those who feel the logo is fine there to shout down the protesters on their way into the game. Earlier this week the defending American League champions held their home opener, and a reported two dozen protesters were there to raise awareness. Cleveland.com was on hand to record video of the protests, or rather those who railed against the protesters in a less-than-classy way.
You can watch the video for yourself below, but be warned there is a good amount of language that would be considered not safe for work, so have your headphones ready just in case you are watching this while on the clock.
I love the guy attending an afternoon baseball game telling the protester to “get a job.” The foul-mouthed Dallas Cowboys fan getting into a heated verbal exchange with the protester seems like a loose allusion to the whole Cowboys vs. Indians gimmick, but it shows just how passionate some people get about defending an image that is without a doubt racist in nature, even if it is a caricature. You have to wonder how that fan would appreciate being caricatured from this video. It wouldn’t be flattering, and it may be stereotypical.
We have seen videos like this before over the years, and until the team does something about the logo, there will undoubtedly be more like it to come. This particular Opening Day moment from 2014 still has quite the impact:
— Peter Pattakos (@ClevelandFrowns) April 4, 2014
The problem, like that of the Washington Redskins, is nobody and nothing has forced the team to change the logo. The idea that it is just a caricature and is a part of the team’s history is ridiculous. The Indians have drawn out this logo nonsense for an excruciatingly long time by implementing meaningless panels and committees to draw the illusion of caring about the logo and appease those who protest it.
Here is the statement from the Indians on the ongoing discussions with MLB about the Chief Wahoo logo: pic.twitter.com/2uPD6KQkcx
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 12, 2017
How difficult is it to change a logo? As we have seen just this week, it’s not really that hard at all.
@craigcalcaterra The Minnesota Timberwolves just changed their primary logo this week. Didn't require an intervention or committee. They just did it.
— Scott Moomaw (@aboutamoo) April 12, 2017
The Indians have previously publicly dedicated themselves to make an effort to move on from the Chief Wahoo logo, with an emphasis to begin moving on from the logo this season. When the Indians faced the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS last postseason, there was a push from Toronto to ban the Indians from being able to play due to the logo, but of course, the series went on anyway.
If Cleveland and MLB want to avoid this kind of negative publicity, there is an incredibly simple solution on the table. Until then, we will continue to have these ugly interactions outside of baseball games.