Cleveland Indians name & logo  

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ClutchJordan
(@jordan)
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08/05/2017 3:04 am  

They really should change them.  The logo is basically a racist caricature unlike the Redskins logo and the name is really dumb.  Why are we still repeating a 500 year old mistake.

I'd change it to the Cleveland Natives.  Same concept, rolls off the tongue, more politically correct.  I know there are diehards out there who love the name and the logo (Chief Wahoo) but I think they need a change.

Just 2 am thoughts by a guy who's super into marketing/branding.

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MikeTheRed
(@mikethered)
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08/05/2017 9:09 am  

"Heritage, Not Hate."

Isn't that the phrase we use to defend outdated symbols?

I wonder if we hear about the Redskins controversy more because the NFL is a larger brand and provides a bigger platform for those that are offended by it or pretend to be offended for their ten seconds in the spotlight.

The Redskins and Indians logos and mascots don't offend me but I'm not directly related to it. Wahoo is definitely the bigger offender of the two due to it's exaggerated caricature nature.

In addition to the modern trend of hypersensitivity, I think some have also forgotten what a mascot represents.

Merriam-Webster defines the word mascot as "a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck."

Perhaps now in the capitalist world of merchandizing the main purpose of these logos and mascots is brand recognition and financial gain, but if you look at the true definition of what a mascot is, it could be argued that there is no harm meant and it is actually more of a respectful tribute (even if the visual depiction is on the offensive side), though you'd still have opponents that are against using Native Americans as a "good luck charm."

I live in an area where it's not uncommon to find arrowheads in your backyard and local boroughs and townships are named with Native American words. To no one's surprise, there are also a handful of Native American sports team mascots around. The largest of these was a former ECHL hockey team, the Chiefs, named primarily to take advantage of the fact that Slapshot was filmed here. Though that franchise moved, the current NAHL team is the Tomahawks. Nearby colleges and universities have taken steps to change their names but smaller high schools hang on to names like the Indians - they seem to use the word "Indians" less in billboards and press releases but still have a Native American head in a headdress as their logo.

Having the professional sports teams changed to the Cleveland Natives or Washington Whatevers wouldn't bother me at all. You'd still see plenty of classic logo gear in the area from fans who hang on to the nostalgia and tradition.

I won't be surprised when it happens and I assume the teams could make plenty of dough selling new merchandise.


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Catastrophe
(@catastrophe)
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08/05/2017 12:40 pm  

Until the beer sponsors go all Bill O'Reilly and start pulling out of game broadcasts, I don't expect any changes.

 

Patiently waiting for the Omar Vizquel 1999 Career Year card - .333/.397/.436 - AS, GG, SB


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fightcitymayor
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08/05/2017 1:10 pm  

They have already mostly phased out the Chief Wahoo logo, and since MLB has started leaning on them again I am guessing you won't see it at all as the 2019 Cleveland All-Star game approaches.

As for the team name, the Dolan family are billionaires and have way too much money wrapped up in various trademarks, merchandise, licensing deals etc. and they won't endanger those revenue streams by switching up the team name.


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BearDownForWhat
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08/05/2017 3:23 pm  

This is a tough one. I really like Wahoo, but that's mostly because I grew up watching Major League as a young, naive child. I really liked the logo and never thought of it negatively.

But, frankly, what I think doesn't matter because I'm not Native American. I know I'm likely in the minority, and, heck, probably in the wrong, but I really like Wahoo and hope they don't get rid of him altogether. He was always just a cartoony character to me and it wasn't until I got older that I recognized why he's offensive to Native Americans.

At the same time, and admittedly inconsistently, I wouldn't care at all if they made the Washington football franchise change. 

All that said, if I was a betting man, I would say Cleveland will change before Washington does. Dan Snyder has a reputation for being, shall we say, adamant about his position. He'll die or sell the team before they change.


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ClutchJordan
(@jordan)
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08/05/2017 4:50 pm  

This is how you do a name/logo regarding Native Americans right: 

Or they could go Cleveland Tribe.  That's already their nickname and a teepee with a C in it would probably be cool.

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Catastrophe
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10/05/2017 8:51 am  

I don't think any such team name/mascot will ever not offend somebody. Even FSU, which is generally seen as one of the most respectable such franchises, still falls far short:   https://www.thenation.com/article/florida-state-seminoles-champions-racist-mascots/  

Just wait til the national story about outdated mascots turns to Catholic (lol) Notre Dame's insult to Irish immigrants. And how about the Pirates and Buccaneers and Raiders, glorifying the atrocities still occurring around the east coast of Africa. Can we stop Disney from producing more Jack Sparrow movies while we're at it?

Given the above examples of taking this debate too far, of course Chief Wahoo is the best known and most egrigious offender and, in this new age of awareness, will likely be completely phased out. It will be sad to see him go, but it might be more sad if he stays.

Patiently waiting for the Omar Vizquel 1999 Career Year card - .333/.397/.436 - AS, GG, SB


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Catastrophe
(@catastrophe)
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29/01/2018 7:25 pm  

Chief Wahoo will be on the warpath for one final season...

https://tribevibe.mlblogs.com/cleveland-indians-will-remove-chief-wahoo-logo-from-uniforms-in-2019-87bdd6a1f44d?sf83554463=1

Patiently waiting for the Omar Vizquel 1999 Career Year card - .333/.397/.436 - AS, GG, SB


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BearDownForWhat
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31/01/2018 11:20 pm  

I read that they'll continue to sell him on merchandise...but only in the stadium and in brick and mortar stores in Norther Ohio. Very interesting wrinkle.


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ClutchJordan
(@jordan)
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01/02/2018 8:58 am  

The name Indians bugs me more than the logo.  How can a mistake last over 500 years?  Cleveland Tribe or Cleveland Natives would be way better.

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Sittch
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01/02/2018 7:27 pm  
Posted by: ClutchJordan

The name Indians bugs me more than the logo.  How can a mistake last over 500 years?  Cleveland Tribe or Cleveland Natives would be way better.

To be fair, this perpetuates in part because the mistake has existed so long that it has become the normative term to the people themselves. Most Native Americans I've come into contact with self-identify as "Indian" rather than "Native American" or other alternatives. I've also noticed this in quite a few news articles/research journals, not to mention the numerous "American Indian" organizations nationwide.


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vonschiller
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11/03/2018 9:26 am  

For what it's worth, the Smithsonian branch dedicated to that section of history is the Museum of the American Indian. 

 

I grew up an Indians fan and live in the Cleveland diaspora, and I haven't worn the logo for years. If they choose to change the name along with the logo next year, that's fine, but I've wanted the logo to go since I was in high school or so. They'll be getting a lot of my money if they have a better logo than the block C next season.

 

Re: continuing to sell the logo, they still own the trademark on it and were they to stop selling it, they'd lose that. They've sold the old (worse) logo from the 40s in stores for as long as I remember. Better or worse, I get that, though the other vintage logos take up such little floor space in stores I don't expect it'll be noticeable.


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