The Debate Over Wahoo

The debate continues, but it looks like the Chief Wahoo era is coming to an end.

The logo has been around for generations. It has sat atop the old Municipal Stadium. He has been sewn into caps and uniforms and memorabilia for as long as I can remember. But does that make it ok?

As a fan of something, anything at all, it can be difficult to separate yourself from something controversial.

The Indians have had a storied past in the city, and some of the most enthusiastic fans in the country. We as fans flocked to “The Jake” in the mid 90’s when our hearts were torn out by the Browns moving to Baltimore. By flocked, I mean just that. In fact, we as fans packed the house for 455 consecutive games. Wahoo was a part of the love affair with the Indians, and had become as much a mascot for the city as it was for the team. But again, does that make it ok?

This debate is not a new thing. It’s been going on for a long time. As unpopular as my opinion is here in cleveland, I think it’s time to say goodbye. We are in a strange time in our country; a time where racial and cultural inequality and unrest are front and center. When it comes to sports teams and their mascots, they should not be adding fuel to the fire, or continuing the divide. Sports are supposed to be a source of entertainment and not of racial or cultural division. The fact is, not everyone will find offense in the beloved character, but that doesn’t mean it’s not offensive. Just because it’s history, or tradition, doesn’t make it right.

Here is my suggestion. We are all a fan of “tradition” and I recommend they go back to being the Spiders. If you are a fan of history and tradition, they played at League Park, which is loved by Clevelanders, and Cy Young even played for the team. It’s not a bad idea if you want to keep some nostalgia involved with the name and logo.

Let’s all just take a minute or two and really think about it. Try to look at it as an outsider and not as a fanatic. We are representing a logo which causes a negative view of our team and our city. We are better than that.

Below is a really good article by Ken Rosenthal with a national, outside perspective.

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