After a tremendous regular season, the Cleveland Indians were removed from the playoffs early. Now, one of their fans is trying to remove a Chief Wahoo tattoo before it’s too late.
The fan, David Allen, started up a GoFundMe page to get his “racist and obscene” Chief Wahoo tattoo removed. Here’s Allen’s reasoning behind the decision:
With the Indians losing a 6th straight close-out playoff game (Cubs and Yankees), the time has come for me to get my racist and obscene Chief Wahoo logo tattoo removed from my leg. I had this tattoo done when I turned 18 back at the height of Indians euphoria in the 90s. Yes, people in Cleveland were literally tattooing their bodies because it was so amazing the Indians were a good team after 50 years of losing! As a dumb 18 year old, I had no idea the logo represented a white man’s twisted view of a Native American. Little did I know this would turn out to be worse than a tramp stamp. I have lived in shame both from the worry of offending someone and from embarrassing Indians play over the years. I’ve had enough. Help me right this wrong by donating a few bucks that will put towards removing this travesty from my body once and for all.
Allen is asking for $1,000 to get the tattoo removed. At the time of this post, he’s raised $152 toward his goal.
The Chief Wahoo mascot has come under fire in recent years for its stereotypical depiction of Native Americans. The team has at least tacitly admitted the mascot bothers fans, and has limited its usage.
The team transitioned to the “Block C” as its primary logo in 2014. While it has taken small steps to completely phase out Chief Wahoo since then, the mascot still appears on the team’s uniforms today.
Cleveland’s appearance in the World Series last season seemed to accelerate the issue. With the team on a national stage, the logo gained more exposure. Fans of the club dressed in “red face” were shown before and after commercial breaks during the team’s postseason run.
That may have prompted Major League Baseball to take action. The league has been in discussions with the club regarding getting rid of the mascot. It’s been an ongoing process for nearly the entire season, and both sides still haven’t come to what they deem is a reasonable agreement.
Some people around the game have already taken action against the mascot. One activist has attempted to bring the law into it, arguing Chief Wahoo is discriminatory. Activists gather and protest the logo outside Progressive Field. Jerry Howarth, a Toronto Blue Jays announcer, took it a step farther, refusing to say the team’s name during broadcasts.
With Cleveland’s early exit from the postseason, debates about whether the mascot should continue to exist today may be muted during the offseason. Without that added pressure from fans, the league may not have extra motivation to force the team to retire Chief Wahoo before the start of the 2018 season.
While it’s a small consolation, those hoping to see the mascot banned can at least try to help a fan who feels like he made a huge mistake when he was younger. It’s a small place to start, but if removing Chief Wahoo from the public eye is the goal, every little bit helps.
(BLS H/N: Scene)
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