Here we are again, talking about teams using American Indian names for their team’s nickname.
On Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, the Cleveland Indians announced that they will remove the Chief Wahoo logo, which has been the logo for over 70 years, in 2019 due to a debate over the racist depiction of American Indians.
This has been a controversy in the organization for many years. In recent seasons, Cleveland started to phase out the old logo, implementing a simple “C” logo.
I did see this day coming that the logo would be permanently removed. I do agree with this move. Usually, I don’t go with the politically correct way, but hear me out.
The Chief Wahoo logo is cartoon-like and is the stereotypical red-colored skin. I never liked the logo and thought it was immature.
For a similar reason, I don’t like the nickname Redskins for Washington’s NFL team.
As I previously stated, I don’t like that the Chief Wahoo logo was red for the stereotype it brings. The nickname and the logo for the Washington Redskins brings along the stereotype that Americans Indian are known as people with “red skin.”
Now people will say its history and you can’t change it. Imagine if there was a team called the “Blackskins?” All hell would break loose and the authority of the team would be a racist.
What if some team changed their name to the “Orangeskins?” I’m all for Trump memes, but there would still be some blowback.
Let’s take the “history and you can’t change it ” bit and look at another team that was changed.
The University of North Dakota nickname was changed from the Fighting Sioux to the Fighting Hawks. Quick sidebar, what a horrible name change. Roughriders were a better name option in my opinion.
I remember when I was young (maybe elementary school) and people were talking about the name and how it needed to be changed. The debate raged for years until the school finally changed it in 2015.
Now the American Indian community is divided on the issue. Some say that the name should be changed, and others say they are honored, and that if they do change the name it would cut the bond that the tribe and the university have with each other.
According to the Billings Gazette and Grand Forks Herald, two American Indian members put their names in a lawsuit to stop the UND nickname vote.
The document claimed there was no Sioux representation in the process of choosing a new name and protest members of the Sioux Nation are not among the chosen stakeholders who can vote on the name.
“In other words, someone with no other ties to UND other than the purchase of a season ticket is allowed to participate in the vote on the nickname selection, but not the members of the Sioux Nations, who bestowed the name to UND,” court documents stated.
UND is the most iconic name in college hockey and the school was founded in the 1930s, so, telling me that you can’t change a name because its history is a load of BS.
I could go on about how there are other schools that have nicknames and logos of American Indians, but I won’t.
To me, I believe it is okay to name a team after American Indians, but we should do it respectfully. They were and still are great warriors and fighters and we should honor them as such.