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Thread: How do you feel about the symbol of your baseball team?

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    Default How do you feel about the symbol of your baseball team?

    Now let me preface this by saying I've always loved the Cleveland Indians. When I was a kid, the Major League movies were among my favorites and so they've always been my "b" team in a sort except they kinda suck worse than the Jays so its not like the usual "b" team where you pick a team that's better than the team you love. My B team was the Expos so... thats why the Indians are kind of a B-Team

    As you guys know, I love reading the Cleveland Frowns blog. Although I disagree with a lot of his takes I like that he attacks the things we like to attack and he's got a bigger soap box to do so than we do here so it's kind of interesting in that aspect to read his blog. Sometimes I do agree with him and sometimes I don't.

    The "Curse of Chief Wahoo" as he likes to call it, I think he likes to apply it to Cleveland Sports in general but this curse really centers around the Indians because I think in some aspects they have it worse than the Browns do right now. Some of the more passionate Indians fans will hopefully add there two cents I think there's something to be discussed here in general. The Washington Redskins are facing a similar plight though it doesn't seem to me that the Cleveland Indians receive as much negative attention about the subject. Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention.

    Do you think the Cleveland Indians and their Logo perpetuate a racist imagery? Yes or no? Why?

    Personally I do. I grew up in a rural area with a very heavy concentration of aboriginal population and now again, I live in a region with a very high concentration of aboriginal population so the racism issue is very apparent to me from the get go. In Canada I've never seen an aboriginal symbol that wasn't of first nations origin so I do think that it's a disrespectful image, and I mean Chief Wahoo? That in of itself it's a mockery...

    I don't know if ohio has a large aboriginal population but I was wondering just what the greater perceptions of this issue are and what some of the more personal perceptions are. Mine are that I don't understand why it doesn't seem to be more of an issue.
    BROWNS 2017: FUCK IT, DUDE... LET'S GO BOWLING

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    It is a giant red face with a blank hazy look on it and a shit-eating grin.

    C'mon.

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    Well I didn't want to go there but look at the Redskins logo. It's not an image that undermines the aboriginals in their case it's the name "Redskins" which has obvious racial overtones and is considered by many to be derogatory. "Indians" to me is just an ignorant name.

    Which leads to the question of what do you change it to when it's decided enough is enough? Is there something that resonates with Ohioans that could be better? The Cleveland Indians have always been one of those "classic" teams to me which makes the subject more polarizing.
    BROWNS 2017: FUCK IT, DUDE... LET'S GO BOWLING

    "I just do not get worked up over games anymore. I realized some time ago there is no point in getting worked up over them. I have no control over the outcome, it has no impact on me personally, and I have little to no actual facts to work from on properly analyzing the results." - Masters

    "Don't try to make me feel dumb for my opinion. You can kiss my ass." - MalcolmBrown

    WOOF WOOF WOOF!

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    It's not an easy question because it's tied up in two things:

    1. "Indians" transcends the actual name of the team and is part of the cultural identity of the town. The Indians are less an ethnic group and more of a feeling of pride for the city, a source of entertainment and people's hopes. Identity. Changing the Indians to the Ohioians would be like renaming the Browns to the Greys.

    2. Indians is a valuable brand. "Ohioans" is not worth millions, Indians are.

    tl;dr - $$$

    That's why it will never change from Indians to something else.

    ---

    You didn't want to go there? When I think of race and the team, I actually think about the logo more than the name honestly.

    As for the logo being used today - I do not think any racial hatred is intended by the organization or people who wear the logo, but it's easy to interpret it as insensitive. The depiction in the logo is similar to "blackfaces" or illustrations of other races as dopey or stupid. It's not that I don't think you can have a cartoon logo of someone as your brand, just more so what that kind of illustration means in the context of the history for the people.

    ---

    Hell.

    I mean, if you wanted to be really, really frank about it, part of the reason it's not an issue is that many of the Native Americans are dead now and had their culture obliterated by moving them over and over with stuff like the Trail of Tears. I don't think I've ever actually seen an "Indian" in my entire life.

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    Huh, someone read this thread and made an article about the Redskins on ESPN EE: Link

    And this one.
    Last edited by Crow; 02-14-2013 at 12:13 PM.

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    That's why I wanted to ask the question: I don't really understand the cultural relevance of the Indians truly. Personally I don't find it offensive so much as I understand why some may consider it that way.

    I didn't mean to infer that "Ohioans" should be the name just an assumed nomenclature for state citizens. If its the most culturally relevant name the team can abide by then perhaps there are greater issues at hand. Because the ethnography of my region is probably close to 50% aboriginal it's perhaps just an issue to me because of the heat the Washington Redskins are under right now. I wondered if it was an issue that hit close to home and it seems at least for you Crow that it's not an offensive name and you explained well why. I appreciate that.
    BROWNS 2017: FUCK IT, DUDE... LET'S GO BOWLING

    "I just do not get worked up over games anymore. I realized some time ago there is no point in getting worked up over them. I have no control over the outcome, it has no impact on me personally, and I have little to no actual facts to work from on properly analyzing the results." - Masters

    "Don't try to make me feel dumb for my opinion. You can kiss my ass." - MalcolmBrown

    WOOF WOOF WOOF!

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    I think with each passing day the relevance of this story fades for the masses.

    I can't remember the last time I heard an intentionally derogatory description of a native American. When I was a kid it was still around just as the genre of the Cowboy ("Good") vs Indian ("Evil") movie was still around.

    I wouldn't really lose sleep if they decided to change/remove the logo. I probably wouldn't react much to an overall name change. I just don't see it as some blazing symbol of "the man" trying to suppress a people.

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    I think you're right Grey. My heritage could be slanting this also as I feel for example, if there were a CFL team nicknamed the "Indians" or "Redskins" that it would be attacked aggressively by first nations leaders as a symbol that projects a poor image. And I've often lived in areas where Aboriginals are the main target of racism. I hadn't lived in an area that had a large concentration of black people ever in my life before I moved to Nova Scotia so to see that kind of racism face on was kind of shocking at first simply because I'd never been exposed to it. Maybe that's why I feel like raising this issue.

    In regard to the second link Crow posted, there was an interesting question asked. "Why do you, as a white person, think you get to speak for Indians on this topic? If this is an issue that affects Native Americans, why can't they speak for themselves?" Which was always something I kind of thought to myself about the issue.
    This was one point of view I found particularly polarizing though it doesn't feed in to any of the points that have been made in our discussion:
    From John Orendorff, a U.S. Army colonel and Native American: "I often feel that the underlying point of these 'honors' is that my Indian heritage is owned by others. The message I'm constantly getting is: 'We own you. We will define how we honor you. Don't tell us whether you like it or not, because we own you. When we hunt down Osama bin Laden, we can refer to him as Geronimo -- which happens to be my son's name -- because we own you. You don't control how you're perceived. We control that. Because we own you.'"
    That's really one of the first times I've read many different Native American points of view, at least from the perspectives of those who it is most relevant. Those who feel enough about it to speak of it and there is not one person who could stand for something like that.

    I think of another story I read related to the issue on NFL.com which told of a college prospect who went to a American Indian History Symposium or something to that regard but specifically regarding why using those kinds of term as Redskin is bad and the student felt so strongly after that he could not advocate wearing his school colours and symbol anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greythan
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    I can't remember the last time I heard an intentionally derogatory description of a native American. When I was a kid it was still around just as the genre of the Cowboy ("Good") vs Indian ("Evil") movie was still around.
    I just think of Blazing Saddles where the whole point of the movie was an excuse to use the word nigger and one thing that always makes me laugh is that the natives are all played by asians. That kind thing really cracked me up as a Kid and it wasn't for some time until I really figured out what Blazing Saddles was all about. Mel Brooks comedies had a large chunk of my youth but that was really the only movie I can think of outside of Remember The Titans where racism was a polarizing issue of the film.

    You're ambivalent to a name change or logo change, and you too don't really see it as an issue. I think it's just interesting how American and Canadian culture, especially differences in how Natives are treated/prejudiced against (that of which I'm less aware of outside of the sports logo examples we're discussing or if I want to draw on another common pop culture stereotype the reserve casinos.) I think it would be a bigger deal north of the border.
    BROWNS 2017: FUCK IT, DUDE... LET'S GO BOWLING

    "I just do not get worked up over games anymore. I realized some time ago there is no point in getting worked up over them. I have no control over the outcome, it has no impact on me personally, and I have little to no actual facts to work from on properly analyzing the results." - Masters

    "Don't try to make me feel dumb for my opinion. You can kiss my ass." - MalcolmBrown

    WOOF WOOF WOOF!

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    Yah, i really can't stand all this politically correct bullshit being shoved down everyones throat in this "free" country we live in.

    I mean, does racism even exist anymore against native Americans? Never heard it ....in my life.

    What you have here is an organization pressuring an extremely small group of native americans to claim offense and somehow making national news about it. Frowns is way off in left field on this one, just like he was while licking LBJs nutsack on the way out the door because he's from Akron and hoping for an interview.

    To me, these people screaming "look at me, do what I say, or you're an evil racist" over silly stuff like a baseball team logo, are only perpetuating a racism that is barely clinging to life in this country anymore. Had these people not been crying for attention the past several years, I would have never even had a negative thought connected to that caricature. And that's a good thing, not to feel a shred of racism when confronted with another race. If anything, as a kid I probably pretended to be a native american, and saw Wahoo as a source of pride that so many native americans lived and thrived in Ohio.

    Understanding where Chief Wahoo may have come from, that is no longer who he is or what he represents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enigmatic Evil View Post
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    Blazing Saddles
    One of the all time great movies especially because of how Mel Brooks makes fun of the stereotypes. Perhaps the single funniest part of the film is where the white marauders are trying to get the black workers to sing "a working song". Or maybe where the freshly minted black sheriff has to take himself hostage to get out of a lynching. The movie is pricelessly funny and socially compelling.

    Genius stuff.

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    love Chief Wahoo i say keep him and quit whining!

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