For those of you who are Cleveland Indians fans, the following, while not unexpected, is becoming an unfortunate reality.
Chief Wahoo might very well be on his way out of Cleveland forever.
In recent years, the Indians organization has come under fire from the Native American population for its Chief Wahoo logo. Some say Chief Wahoo is racist and should be retired, never to be used again as a representation for the Cleveland ball club. While I understand the reasoning behind it, I am not for it.
Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland in the early to mid- 1990’s, my family and I were die-hard Indians fans. My father split season ticket packages with his co-workers so we could see former players Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton and others dominate the American League Central and all the while, the team sported the Chief Wahoo logo.
In recent years, the Indians have noticeably started to phase out Chief Wahoo and incorporate a more conservative block-C on their uniforms. As recent as 2011, the Indians demoted Chief Wahoo from their away ball caps and introduced a red block-C on the traditional navy blue cap.
Chief Wahoo still appears on the home ball caps and on the sleeve of the game jerseys. However, now even the batting helmets, which had never donned anything but Chief Wahoo, are beginning to be overrun by the rather bland block-C.
The Indians are not the only professional sports organization under fire for their controversial Native American representation.
The Washington Redskins of the NFL have also been heavily scrutinized for their portrayal of their nationally-known Redskin logo, which shows a more realistic (compared to the cartoonish Chief Wahoo) maroon-faced Native American with feathers running down the back of his head.
While I am sure we can all understand the uncomfortable position the Indians organization must be dealing with, I have to think that ultimately the organization would not want to disappoint their fans.
If that is the case, we can hope Chief Wahoo will hang around a little longer.