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The Cleveland Indians have used an Indian called Chief Wahoo as their mascot for over 60 years. Many people have called this emblem insulting, and it has received a lot of criticism. Native Americans have been demonstrating and taking numerous measures against the emblem since the 1970s. However, the team's owners and managers have defended the use of the name and logo, arguing that it is not meant to offend but rather to represent Native Americans. Although the use of the chief wahoo logo has diminished in recent years, the majority of fans attending home games continue to wear or hold signs depicting the symbol. Natives believe that the logo brings pain and humiliation, and therefore it should be changed or completely abolished.
In recent years, critics have been pressuring the Indians to get rid of Chief Wahoo, arguing that it is offensive towards Native Americans.
Chief Wahoo's appearance
One of the reasons for opposing this logo is its appearance. According to most of the native Americans, the chief wahoo's logo has various features that do not indicate a positive message. Over the years, education and religious groups, as well as social scientists, have been urging the team to change the logo to something that does not offend any group of people.
Resembles a cartoonish Indian
Over the past years, claims have been existing stating that the Chief Wahoo logo is a cartoon caricature of a stereotypical American Indian face. The Native Americans have been raising concerns about using the image with American face in cartoonist form, most of them claiming that it is not only racist but also demoralizing to the whole American community. Using cartoon in this image is said to mock the community because cartoons imply an animal or just a 'thing' that is inferior to human beings.
Its opposers and especially the natives claim that they are people, not imagery, cartoons, logos, or mascots. They believe the cartoonish nature of the logo is discriminative and also offensive to the American people and culture, and therefore the team management should not only demote it to secondary but should abolish it altogether.
Chief Wahoo's skin color is red (as redskin is an offensive term towards Native Americans).
The color associated with this logo is red, and based on the fact that the image resembles Americans and Indians, it is regarded as invasive as redskin is an offensive term towards the Native Americans. In most of the modern dictionaries in the American English, the term 'red skin' is labeled as disparaging, insulting, offensive or taboo. The red color on the image is said to perpetuate the harmful stereotype of natives that continues to infuse American culture.
Shown with a huge smile and a big nose
The big nose and smile on this logo have also raised controversy in the past and even in the recent days. Many people believe that the mindless smile and big nose portrays the natives as people who have funny physical appearances. They also believe that the size of the nose is exaggerated and insulting to the American community.
The smile is also said to be exaggerated, most opposers terming it as 'smile for racism.' The opposers and especially the natives claim the smile is ironical because it is put on an image that is meant to dehumanize and offend a group of people.
The rise of the Chief Wahoo controversy
Recently picked up steam during the Indians' run to the World Series.
The chief wahoo logo and the Indian's name have been in hot debate for decades especially when it comes to baseball competitions. Recently, during the world series championship, people believed that there was something darkly farcical Indians compete in the World Series with chief wahoo's grinning face adorning their sleeves and caps.
Some of the supporters asserted that Cleaveland Indians are favorites to win the World Series, but chief wahoo haunts the baseball. In 2016 during the American League championship series between blue jays and Cleveland, a court case was filed in Canada demanding the team and the logo to be banned from being aired on national TV. Although the logo has been opposed over the years, its supporters claim that it does not have the perceived issues and therefore there are no sensible reasons to have it banned.
Many people describe Chief Wahoo as the most offensive image in sports.
Although the logo has undergone various changes over the years, it is still being opposed by many people especially the natives. Because of the various characteristics associated with this logo such as the long nose, red color, among others has been making the logo to receive a lot of criticism over the past and even in the recent days. During the last World Series, issues that led to mass protests arose, most of the people who oppose the logo expressing their concerns on how it humiliates the natives and the reasons why it should be abolished.
For many years, Chief Wahoo logo has been and continues to be a painful and dehumanizing image especially to the natives. From time to time and especially during World Series games, people have been protesting to express their concerns towards the existence of this image.
Chief Wahoo is bought up in many conversations regarding teams with Native American-themed names.
Although different teams have different logos that have various meanings, Chief Wahoo image has remained to be of concern in many conversations regarding teams with Native American-themed names. The logo that features a smiling cartoon image resembling Native Americans is considered by the majority of the natives to be one among the most offensive logos in all professional sports. The reason for this is because people believe the image should not dehumanize any race or portray negative characteristic associated with any group of people.
According to its opposers, the chief wahoo logo portrays more offensive aspects than the perceived positive message its supporters claim it depicts. Although the team supporters say the logo is meant to honor the Americans, most of the natives believe it fosters stereotypes that have damaging sociological and psychological impact on the community.
The future of Chief Wahoo
MLB is pressuring the team to cease using Chief Wahoo once and for all.
The Cleveland Indians have been facing pressure from MLB concerning the use of this logo for a considerable amount of time now. The public backlash concerning the Chief Wahoo logo has been so prevalent that the MLB decided to start pressuring the organization to abolish the image. Recently, this organization provided a statement indicating that they have a desire for a transition away from the controversial logo.
As a result of increased pressure for the team to do away with this logo, the Indians owner, and the MLB commissioner's office have been working to come up with a 'middle ground' over the controversial chief wahoo's existence. Although they claim not to have been aligned on its future, they assert that they shall address the issue in the nearby future.
Although Indians continue to sell gear that features the chief Wahoo logo in their stores and online, MLB has been out to abolish the use of this logo in sports. Recently, it made promises to limit the use of this logo by making the team wear a stately looking crimson 'C.' Despite the reports that the MLB and Indians are working together to come up with a common understanding concerning the future of the Chief Wahoo logo, it seems that the Indians are hesitant to abandon the image.
Team relegates Chief Wahoo to secondary status in favor of the block C logo.
With the increase in pressure from MLB, fans and other stakeholders, the logo was demoted from primary to secondary, and as time goes on it seems that the block 'C' logo is being considered most while the controversial chief Wahoo logo continues to fade away. Relegating this logo to secondary status indicates that with time the team may decide to do away with it completely.
Some of the stakeholders believe the 'block C' builds equity and is more favorable for the team as compared to the Chief Wahoo Logo. Most of the people who criticize the controversial logo assert that the 'block C' logo should completely replace the Chief Wahoo Logo because it does not convey a message which implies racism or dehumanize any group of people.
Despite the controversy, the team is reluctant to completely retire Chief Wahoo.
Even with the endless pressure from fans, league, and other people who feel offended by the chief wahoo image, the team does not seem to take the steps suggested to abolish the existence of this image. The Indians still maintain the logo is a substantial part of their culture and therefore should be kept.
Even after receiving a lot of critics concerning the message conveyed by the image, the team has never eliminated the logo from its jersey. Instead, it was demoted to secondary status. The team maintains their view that the logo is supported by its fans and abolishing its existence might impact its relationship with its supporters. It also believes that the logo has been making the team to have increased sales and revenue and therefore doing away with it may significantly impact its income.
Amid the controversy, many people still adore Chief Wahoo appearance. Its supporters claim that it is a strong part of their culture and therefore it should not be abolished. Even with the critics, the logo remains on the jersey sleeves. The team owners, as well as the management, still defend the use of this logo saying that it is not intended to offend, but instead, to honor the Native Americans. They also claim that its loyal fans strongly support the logo and eliminating the image from its jersey may significantly affect the team.
At the beginning of 2016, the use of the team announced to have reduced the logo into secondary status in favor of Block C. Demoting the status of this logo was accompanied by pressure especially from its supporters, most of them claiming that it has a substantial cultural significance to the team. Various key stakeholders also raised concerns for demoting these logo claiming that it was generating a lot of revenue to the team.
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