I am a huge sports fan. A New England sports fan. Baseball and football specifically, which means the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.
As I type this, the Red Sox are in the top of the 4th inning of Game 2 of the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians. I love the Indians for the trouncing they just gave our most notrious rivals, the New York Yankees. And in fact, they have some tremendous players on their current roster: Kenny Lofton and C.C. Sabathia come to mind immediately. Of course, I hope we give them a similar trouncing on our way to the World Series, but that is all still to be seen.
But what really bothers me is the Indians team logo. I’ve only just learned its name: Chief Wahoo, which seems to add insult. This symbol is hugely offensive to me. It is a racist charicature. I can’t understand why this symbol is still being used in the year 2007. People claim tradition, they claim it’s all in fun, that it’s just a cartoon, not worth making a big deal of. Are we still permitting the ridicule of ethnic minorities in the name of fun?
I didn’t know the history of the name Indians. I’m only one person, but I think the history supports the name. The reasoning behind the name is honorable, and was done with respect. But the symbol/mascot insignia has got to go. Native Americans do not have beet red faces, wear feathers, have huge teeth and shifty eyes. They are not a warring people. I’m hardly the first person to make this comparison, but if we ever had a team called the Worcester Whities, the Atlantic City Jews, Springfield Jigaboos or the Hoboken Crackers, no doubt people would be lining up to sign petitions to get the names and whatever offensive mascot went along with it. Don’t all people deserve the common courtesy to not be made fun of for the core of who they are?