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Cleveland phasing out their mascot

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:50 PM

SI linked to this story earlier today.
Is Chief Wahoo Finally on the Way Out? | Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.Net News and Blog : New Logos and New Uniforms news, photos, and rumours

Posnanski also had a small column out about how offensive Chief Wahoo was but I don't have that link.

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:10 PM

Glad to hear about the Chief.

On the other hand, I'd think they could come up with something a little more stylish than that C.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:52 PM

Good job by ownership. Wahoo needed to go away years ago and thankfully, Cleveland is doing it quietly while everyone is distracted by the horrible, awful Redskins team name.

#4 notoriousgod71

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 06:07 PM

I realize I'm in the minority (pun not initially intended, but I'll go with it), but I don't see how logos or team names can be offensive. I can tolerate Cleveland getting rid of the logo but I would be really upset if they changed their name just like I'm upset that people are trying to force Snyder to change the Redskins nick name. There's history, tradition, and these names are meant to honor Native Americans. No one is going to pick a nick name that they're not proud of.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 06:37 PM

I realize I'm in the minority (pun not initially intended, but I'll go with it), but I don't see how logos or team names can be offensive. I can tolerate Cleveland getting rid of the logo but I would be really upset if they changed their name just like I'm upset that people are trying to force Snyder to change the Redskins nick name. There's history, tradition, and these names are meant to honor Native Americans. No one is going to pick a nick name that they're not proud of.


Indians is a borderline name. It's a hijacked word that was never used by Native American culture to describe themselves.

Chiefs and Braves, at least those are positions of honor within Native American culture. You can argue that those names are paying homage to the culture.

But Redskins? Nah, man. That was never a term of respect for Native American culture. It's pejorative slang for the people as a whole. How would you feel about a team called the Detroit Jigaboos? Because I can't see a difference between the two when you get right down to it.

#6 Riverbrian

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:47 PM

Good job by ownership. Wahoo needed to go away years ago and thankfully, Cleveland is doing it quietly while everyone is distracted by the horrible, awful Redskins team name.


The Washington Redskins need to change their name to something less offensive.

The Maryland Redskins would do the trick.

Disclaimer: This was a joke... It was only a joke.
A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

The United States has a storied history of mistreatment, cultural degradation, forced assimilation and racism against Native Americans. Even names like Braves and Chiefs tend to promote the "noble savage" stereotypes of Native Americans.

ACLU of MN had a small post on this:
Why the name the Redskins (and others like it) need to go :: ACLU of Minnesota

#8 scottz

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:52 AM

I realize I'm in the minority (pun not initially intended, but I'll go with it), but I don't see how logos or team names can be offensive. I can tolerate Cleveland getting rid of the logo but I would be really upset if they changed their name just like I'm upset that people are trying to force Snyder to change the Redskins nick name. There's history, tradition, and these names are meant to honor Native Americans. No one is going to pick a nick name that they're not proud of.


When I was in college, I had a Creative Writing class taught by a Native American - I only had him for that one class, but he was one of my favorite professors. I suppose it had to be fall of '91 that it came up, because we talked about the Braves a lot, the Tomahawk chop (the chant and arm motion), and the whole idea of names like the Redskins and logos like Chief Wahoo, whose image he described as "the Little Black Sambo" of Native Americans.

From the perspective of someone who viewed his existence and Native American life and heritage as spiritual, these images and names were an affront to him. Even the Braves logo was not palatable to him, but Chief Wahoo offended him.

#9 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:03 AM

It's an affront to me as a white American who believes this is a country that is serious about putting its horrible past offenses behind. The "Indian" logo of the Cleveland Baseball Club is really just a substitute for a person of color -- look at all the stereotypical features on that image. Indians don't even look like that. Might as well be the Cleveland Ni*****. Unacceptable. I will never go to a Cleveland game, not in Ohio and not in Minnesota.

#10 drivlikejehu

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

Some people always need an issue to be up in arms about. That's whats driving it. Most Native Americans have real life to worry about and don't care (as Reilly pointed out on ESPN, "Redskins" is the mascot for several schools on reservations). Chief Wahoo is more on the offensive side of things, but most of the people crying now couldn't have cared less until it became a cause celebre.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

The United States has a storied history of mistreatment, cultural degradation, forced assimilation and racism against Native Americans. Even names like Braves and Chiefs tend to promote the "noble savage" stereotypes of Native Americans.

ACLU of MN had a small post on this:
Why the name the Redskins (and others like it) need to go :: ACLU of Minnesota


To be clear, I'm not saying the Braves and Chiefs are okay names to use for a sports team... But at least they're not intentionally taking a dig at the culture, a la the Washington Redskins.

We start walking a fine line when every cultural name is off-limits. I'm not saying it would be a bad thing to change the Braves and Chiefs name, I actually think for the sake of decency and history it should be done, but at least an argument can be made for the validity of those names as a positive toward the culture, not a negative.

#12 gunnarthor

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:37 AM

Some people always need an issue to be up in arms about. That's whats driving it. Most Native Americans have real life to worry about and don't care (as Reilly pointed out on ESPN, "Redskins" is the mascot for several schools on reservations). Chief Wahoo is more on the offensive side of things, but most of the people crying now couldn't have cared less until it became a cause celebre.


That line of thinking has been used before and not to good effect. When people decide that society should change racist lines of thinking, too many people say things like 'it's been like this forever and everyone's happy' or worse things.

#13 gunnarthor

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:38 AM

To be clear, I'm not saying the Braves and Chiefs are okay names to use for a sports team... But at least they're not intentionally taking a dig at the culture, a la the Washington Redskins.

We start walking a fine line when every cultural name is off-limits. I'm not saying it would be a bad thing to change the Braves and Chiefs name, I actually think for the sake of decency and history it should be done, but at least an argument can be made for the validity of those names as a positive toward the culture, not a negative.


I understand what you were saying and didn't think you were "okay" with those names.

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:40 AM

Some people always need an issue to be up in arms about. That's whats driving it. Most Native Americans have real life to worry about and don't care (as Reilly pointed out on ESPN, "Redskins" is the mascot for several schools on reservations). Chief Wahoo is more on the offensive side of things, but most of the people crying now couldn't have cared less until it became a cause celebre.


And you know what? NWA is a totally legitimate name for a bunch of black dudes to call their hip hop band.

A bunch of white guys whose ancestors were slave owners? Maybe not so much.

It's the same reason "Fighting Irish" is perfectly fine as Notre Dame's mascot and nickname. I doubt we'd feel that way about it if the school was populated with Protestant English students who hated the Irish.

It's just not that hard to be decent about this and change the names of these teams. Instead, we have white establishment holding on to silly nicknames and mascots for purely selfish reasons... Who cares if the name and mascot are holdovers from an oppressive, horrible time in American history? What really matters is that my team name stays the same because I like it, damn your opinions and "insecurities".

#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:08 AM

That line of thinking has been used before and not to good effect.


It's been like this forever. :)

#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

I got into a little argument with someone I don't know on FB about this. He ended up saying that they should put it to a vote and that the majority would still support the name.

Clearly he wasn't thinking, because clearly he set himself up for "well without that whole genocide thing, I think the numbers would be a little different."

He didn't respond.

#17 drivlikejehu

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

That line of thinking has been used before and not to good effect. When people decide that society should change racist lines of thinking, too many people say things like 'it's been like this forever and everyone's happy' or worse things.


That's just a deflection from the fact that almost everyone now clamoring for changes was completely absent on the 'issue' before very recently. Nothing has changed to make the mascots/names more offensive.

Some of the mascots/names should be changed, but the 'outrage' over it is product of a bandwagon of people trying to assert their moral superiority. And once the low-hanging fruit is gone, the same people will gin up controversy over increasingly stupid things.

#18 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:45 AM

Brock, I think your views pretty much sum up my feelings on the subject. Some of these mascots, logos, and team nicknames are clearly offensive, and others are more borderline. For the sake of decency, it's probably a good idea to eventually change them all, but the clearly offensive ones are the priority.

For teams like the Braves and the Chiefs, the name itself might not be inherently offensive, but it's the iconography that accompanies it that often crosses a line. And the best way to address that is likely to remove the underlying nickname.

I've also tended to find that if I'm not sure why something's offensive, if I actually listen for the answer, I understand. Although more important than that is realizing that the legitimacy of someone's taking offense to a logo or mascot is NOT dependent on my understanding the offensiveness.

But take the Tomahawk Chop for example--I'll admit that for a while, I didn't understand why that was a problem. Then someone asked me to imagine there was a team with a Jewish mascot and when their team rallied, the fans all had a chant where they pretended to count money. Now it makes sense.

#19 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:19 AM

Brock, I think your views pretty much sum up my feelings on the subject. Some of these mascots, logos, and team nicknames are clearly offensive, and others are more borderline. For the sake of decency, it's probably a good idea to eventually change them all, but the clearly offensive ones are the priority.

For teams like the Braves and the Chiefs, the name itself might not be inherently offensive, but it's the iconography that accompanies it that often crosses a line. And the best way to address that is likely to remove the underlying nickname.

I've also tended to find that if I'm not sure why something's offensive, if I actually listen for the answer, I understand. Although more important than that is realizing that the legitimacy of someone's taking offense to a logo or mascot is NOT dependent on my understanding the offensiveness.

But take the Tomahawk Chop for example--I'll admit that for a while, I didn't understand why that was a problem. Then someone asked me to imagine there was a team with a Jewish mascot and when their team rallied, the fans all had a chant where they pretended to count money. Now it makes sense.


Boom. Nicely done, Wookiee.

#20 nicksaviking

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:20 AM

It's like a band aid, the longer these names are stuck on the clubs, the more painful it is to remove for those that love them. These are clearly offensive and it's really not for the majority class to determine what degree of offensiveness is acceptable.

And preemptively, before someone argues that some Native Americans aren't offended, that's even more stereotyping. The fact remains that many, if not most, are offended. How would a front office detractor feel about a front office defender speaking for everyone at Twins Daily or vice versa?

#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:23 AM

Even some of the "less" offensive nicknames lack the recognition of the deeply entwined nature of native religion and their culture. Very caricature is a religious slight in addition to a racial one. I doubt many of the Catholics crying foul on the change would feel the same if similar contemporary mockeries of them were done.

And I will say it again....since when does the wrong thing to do require the victim to feel insulted?

#22 nicksaviking

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:23 AM

the same people will gin up controversy over increasingly stupid things.


But why is it you who gets to decide which things are stupid. Native American's have been protesting these names for years. Should their efforts be in vain simply because the rest of the public was painfully slow to catch on to their cause?

#23 SpitefulRabbit617

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

I'm offended by the lack of qoutas in baseball.

#24 gunnarthor

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:37 AM

But why is it you who gets to decide which things are stupid. Native American's have been protesting these names for years. Should their efforts be in vain simply because the rest of the public was painfully slow to catch on to their cause?


That's a good point. There were protestors in 91 when Atlanta came to town (I believe the Star Tribune decided around that time to only print Atlanta and Cleveland and they did that for years. Not sure when they changed back).

#25 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:41 AM

Minnie and Paul are both pasty white, googly-eyed dopes.

One might say this cartoon logo is of whites only so therefore racially insensitive by not representing other pigments in the Minnesota area or its fans,

Or, one might think the cartoon is a wretched depiction of whites in the area.

Or, you might not have a problem with it.

But we can all agree that the owners selfishly cling to this dopey cartoon from ages past for selfish reasons. Got it.

Hey, at least my analogy gives one the opportunity to find no fault in the logo. For the record, I find no problem with it. Then again, I'm white so what do I know and what does my opinion matter if it's not the "correct" opinion?

I'm just curious that if the Indians left the logo, but changed their colors to purple and green, would this be acceptable?

Final ancillary note: When people bring up slavery to bash America, Americans and white Americans I always wonder how much of their knowledge and perspective is from popular culture and myth, and how much is from an informed reading of world history.

Virtually every color of people have been enslaved and held slaves themselves.
Slavery is an economic institution that has been around for upwards of 4000 years.
Slavery was not unique to America.
What was unique about Slavery in America is that it only was legal for 89 years, then abolished.
The first slave owner in America (the colonies) was black.
American Indians practiced slavery before and after the white man arrived.
Only ~4% of all slaves from Africa came to the U.S. They were sold by black Africans.
In 1860, only ~10% of the white population in the South owned slaves.
Less than 1.5% of whites in America owned slaves in 1860
In New Orleans in 1860 3,000 free blacks owned slaves. That's 28% of the free blacks owned slaves there.

So please stop with the hate America, whites should feel guilty and uber sensitive meme.

Slavery is a horrible institution but ought not be used at every opportunity to further some social justice measure or to bash those who don't find some logos and nicknames offensive.

To do so is facile, but lazy and factually wrong.
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

#26 nicksaviking

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:50 AM

Minnie and Paul are both pasty white, googly-eyed dopes.

One might say this cartoon logo is of whites only so therefore racially insensitive by not representing other pigments in the Minnesota area or its fans,

what does my opinion matter if it's not the "correct" opinion?


It probably would be offensive to white people if the team was owned, operated and populated by Native Americans for the entertainment of Native Americans in a predominantly Native American city.

I'm not sure why you think you get to have an opinion about what offends the minority classes. It's not for any of us to say what offends them.

I'm not sure why you broach the subject of trying to dismiss slavery, I don't think that topic was even on the table.

Edited by nicksaviking, 31 October 2013 - 11:54 AM.


#27 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:50 AM

It isn't clear what world history you are reading.

Yeah "hate America" is all this has been about? What?

#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

Over/Under on this thread being closed in 3 hours?

#29 Shane Wahl

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:58 AM

Over/Under on this thread being closed in 3 hours?


I will take the under on that. Shark jumped already. Wow.

#30 scottz

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:08 PM

But why is it you who gets to decide which things are stupid.


I think this is the key to all of this. Who decides what has merit and what is so stupid that it can be either ignored or run over roughshod or both? Throughout history, there have been actions and beliefs that once were viewed as perfectly normal, or at least perfectly acceptable, that changed as a person or people raised issue with them.

While this current issue isn't as obviously egregious as an issue like slavery or burning women as witches, it nonetheless is following the same path of people raising it as an issue. If someone declares it stupid without a willingness to try to understand the opposing perspective, that's prejudice (as in "pre-judgement"). Pre-judgement is not nearly as beneficial as judgement.

That said, I also agree that not every issue raised can/should be viewed under a microscope, just because someone raised the issue. But issues with merit tend to rise to the top eventually.