I fully applaud the act of Major League Baseball and the Cleveland Indians for, finally, doing away with their offensive ‘Chief Wahoo’ logo.
It was announced Jan. 29 the team is phasing out the logo and the start of that movement will be removing it from their uniforms for the 2019 season.
I know there is a large segment out there who feel annoyed by this decision; feel it’s ‘overly sensitive’ and ‘giving in to an all too prevalent political correctness’ mentality. After all, it’s just a logo so the ‘liberal crybabies should just grow up’ (to paraphrase just some of the more harsh comments seen on social media).
To them, I would throw that argument back; if it’s just a logo, why should it bother you so much to see it gone.
I think it’s sad that so many are bothered when a move to respect another culture, group or organization – a right move, a just move – is made. After-all, part of the phrase ‘politically correct’ is the word ‘correct’ – meaning right.
This is a politically correct move made because it should be made; out of respect for First Nations people in the U.S. and Canada.
Some try to defend the cartoon caricature logo by saying it was created to honour Native Americans to which I would say; if that’s truly the case, allow those it’s meant to honour answer the question of whether it does or not.
Again in defense, they’ll point to the number of other questionable sport team nicknames and logos still being used and wonder why this one is now being targeted and, at least half-ways, dealt with.
I would point out a number of those nicknames and logos have already been changed – there are good examples in the NCAA ranks – and, in time, many more will be.
These names and logos were chosen at a time and in a place where people felt it was OK, appropriate. Those judgements, like a lot of views people have come around to seeing as unenlightened, have changed. And, despite the will of some, will continue to change.
I thought it was somewhat ironic that, on the same day this logo story was making the rounds, another, online and eventually in print (see the Jan. 30 Chronicle Herald), in regards to a possible Halifax professional football team, was being kicked around.
The name Explosions, complete with a helmet design and logo, was being discussed as a possibility for a future CFL team based out of Nova Scotia’s capital.
From my perspective, I think the whole notion, despite the professional looking graphics, was simply an online trolling exercise.
The idea of someone referencing the horrific Halifax explosion of 1917 for a sports nickname, and a logo reminiscent of the custom worn by Marvel Comics’ anti-hero character, the Punisher, was a little hard to believe. Death and violence, yeah, that’s what you want your team’s name and image to evoke.
If Halifax does get a CFL team, I hope they go with the name that was originally suggested many years ago when this goal was first conceived; the Atlantic Schooners. It’s reported to be the frontrunner if and when the CFL docks in the HRM … it should be.
Getting back to getting rid of the Chief Wahoo logo, it will be interesting to see if it leads to some of the other high-profile teams ditching their logos and nicknames. The following day, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted the announcement wouldn’t have any bearing on the Washington Redskins and that owner Dan Snyder was working with Native American groups on a “perspective,” regarding his team’s nickname and logo.
So maybe it doesn’t. But when Cleveland’s MLB team eventually drops the name Indians (I believe that will be phase two), the focus will shift even more towards them, and the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, and we’ll see how those teams deal with these overdue situations.