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Cleveland Indians Controversial Team Logo, Chief Wahoo

Cleveland Indians Controversial Team Logo, Chief Wahoo

Now that the Cleveland Indians are in the World Series, Chief Wahoo, the team’s controversial logo and mascot, has once again gained national attention.

Many find that caricature demeaning to Native Americans, while other fans refuse to let go of the image, alluding to team pride.

Middletown High School students are asked what they think of Cleveland’s mascot.

MHS junior, Ethan Grossnickle said, “It’s not offensive. It’s the same as the Redskins’ logo and I support them.”

The Indian’s mascot is a light purple and yellow, furry bird. The mascot walks around the stadium sporting an Indian’s baseball jersey and baseball cap.

“I don’t think its offensive at all, it’s just a pink looking animal with yellow hair,” said Richie Brehm, a MHS junior.

The head of the Cleveland American Indian Movement has described the the use of Chief Wahoo as “exploitative, bigoted, racist and shameful.”

Brehm added, “If they actually made it look like a human and he had red skin and not-so-crazy hair, then it could be a little offensive.”

Although the mascot isn’t a human or red skinned, the Cleveland Indians’ logo is red and Chief Wahoo wears a feather. This cites why many people believe the logo is offensive.

“I don’t really think it’s offensive, the mascot isn’t even an Indian,” said Clayton Dean, a MHS junior. He added, “I’ve never heard of an Indian tribe or person say they are offended by it.”

Maybe the reason Chief Wahoo is such a big concern of a controversial issue right now is because the Indians are playing famously in the World Series. Or maybe it’s because the logo has truthfully been offending people in the nation for a while, and the attention is only growing now.

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About the Contributor
Kiley Hill
Kiley Hill, Social media managing editor
Kiley Hill is currently a senior at Middletown High School and previous managing editor for Round Table Media. This is her sixth and final semester in journalism and her third year a part of the Quill & Scroll International Honor Society. In 2017, Kiley won first place for the Kate Leckie Excellence in News Writing award and third place for Best Online Blog/ Column. Kiley is a Washington Journalism and Media Conference alumni. Also, she was nominated for a broadcast and photography convention in New York City. Kiley is an intern for the Frederick News-Post and will continue her experience in journalism as an intern for the adviser next semester. Kiley plans to become a broadcast reporter for a major news outlet after her plans to attend The Pennsylvania State University. Kiley is known for her loud laughter and constant smile. She values time with her family over anything. Kiley’s best friends are her dogs Jaynah and Amber, who enjoy long walks, Busy Bones and Friday night cuddles. Kiley knows she will have a successful career in journalism.

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    Glenn Arthur PierceNov 3, 2016 at 11:53 am

    In fact, it is exactly because of the World Series that “Indians” and Chief Wahoo are being examine. Dave Zirin writes in The Nation that the only thing keeping “Redskins” from being a bigger controversy is that the team stinks perpetually … a point I make in this post:

    Glenn Pierce
    Author of Naming Rites: A Biographical History of North American Team Names

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