On a busy sports day, there was one clear loser: any team with an offensive mascot.
Monday was officially Columbus Day, but its less renowned counterpart – Indigenous Peoples Day – came out the real winner.
Indigenous Peoples Day has been gaining traction in recent years with many cities choosing to celebrate the holiday in lieu of Columbus Day due to accounts of Christopher Columbus’ role in the genocide of Native Americans.
The new celebration wants to honor and highlight the native communities that have always been in North America and suffered under Columbus.
On Monday, three teams with mascots or traditions that mock Native Americans – the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins – all lost their games today with the two MLB teams being eliminated from the postseason.
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) October 9, 2018
See ya, Indians
The Indians started the day’s losing streak off by getting swept by the Houston Astros. It was a must-win game for them and they did anything but.
They had a 2-1 lead in the sixth and ended up losing 11-3. Not everyone was upset about Cleveland’s season-ending loss though — remember they’re a team whose mascot is an Indian caricature.
The most worrying and vitriolic hate mail I ever got was after I wrote this piece about Chief Wahoo in 2016. I mean it even more emphatically now. https://t.co/EnjsXe1PKj
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) October 8, 2018
The irony did not escape most people today.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) October 8, 2018
Monday’s game was the last we’ll see of the Chief Wahoo logo. Earlier this year the MLB deemed it “no longer appropriate,” and Cleveland had already been phasing it out in favor of their block C.
Luckily, they brought out the Wahoo logo this postseason in time to get swept!
Bye, bye Braves
The Braves’ Tomahawk chop is not getting phased out just yet. The team fared slightly better than the Indians, though losing by four instead of eight. But unfortunately for them, more tomahawk cheers do not mean more runs scored.
Still, some were just happy that they lost. Fans had been rooting for the Dodgers to win purely because of the insensitive cheer.
— karen desrosiers (@mutable_me) October 8, 2018
The Dodgers came through for those fans with a 6-2 win to take the series 3-1. What a way to kick off Indigenous Peoples Day in L.A., which voted to replace Columbus Day last year.
A year ago, the county Board of Supervisors voted to replace Columbus Day.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 8, 2018
Even when some pointed out how denigrating and insensitive the cheer is, it didn’t stop fans from rallying to support their team.
Sports are often likened to war. Braves are warriors, tomahawk is an amazing weapon.. we cheer-on our team not to mock native culture but to honor their spirit. What better mascot to denote the gauntlet that is sports. #GoBraves ahhhhh, ahh , ahhh uhh ahhh #ChopOn @Braves
— Original CriYolo (@AnthonyLiuzza) October 8, 2018
The combination of the Braves and Indians losing was enough to make even seasoned sportswriters celebrate.
The tomahawk chop has been silenced for the season and chief Wahoo has been bounced from baseball for good. #TodayWasAGoodDay
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) October 9, 2018
The Cleveland Indians, who’s logo is a red-faced Native American chief, and the Atlanta Braves, who do the Tomahawk Chop every 5 seconds, were both eliminated from the postseason on the first ever Indigenous Peoples Day. pic.twitter.com/DW61fzvRDs
— Rich MacLeod (@richmacleod) October 9, 2018
Washed out Redskins
To round out the trifecta of losers on Indigenous Peoples Day, one of the NFL’s most controversial teams went down on Monday to history-making Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
The Redskins weren’t in the headlines for their mistreatment of cheerleaders this time – although that story hasn’t gone away either.
They’re back for their team name — one that their fans somehow don’t even realize is racist.
The Hypocrisy of Racist Logos:
Last weekend I decided to wear this shirt, I figured it would catch some by surprise but I didn’t expect people to be as trash as they were. pic.twitter.com/DW5n6QEmOl
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) July 31, 2018
You’d think that if a 7-year-old realized the hypocrisy of it, adults would too. Alas, that’s probably asking too much of them.
My 7-yr-old, a Washington fan: “I think it’s a bad day for the Redskins to play because it’s Native American Appreciation Day.” ❤️
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) October 8, 2018
So to recap – karma was hard at work on Indigenous Peoples Day. Maybe the teams will reconsider changing their names and traditions for next year.
Sadly-fitting Columbus Day sports recap:
-Cleveland Indians get slaughtered and eliminated.
-Atlanta Braves get eliminated.
— Matt (@nosoupforgeorge) October 9, 2018
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