Pedro Martinez celebrated the Indians' win with offensive gesture

The Cleveland Indians swept the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, winning the ALDS and advancing to play the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS. Pedro Martinez, who is part of TBS’s pre and post-game broadcast crew, wanted to celebrate Cleveland’s victory on the air. That’s a worthy thing to do, but then things went horribly wrong.

Pedro Martinez decided to “pay tribute” to the Indians by doing a stereotypical Native American war whoop that you probably last heard on the TV show “Bonanza.” It was offensive, and it was somehow made worse by all of the other guys at the TBS desk laughing like he did something hilarious.

Though speaking of offensive, it seems fair to point out that Indians still use the Chief Wahoo mascot. He’s not their primary mascot anymore, but the Indians haven’t retired him. Chief Wahoo is considered to be racist by many people since it depicts an old world, stereotypical Native American with red skin and huge teeth. Every season, Native Americans gather outside of the Indians home opener to protest the team’s use of the mascot.

Martinez’s chant was inappropriate, but so is Chief Wahoo. As long as that mascot still exists, people will think it’s fair game to do what Pedro did.

MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 01: Former Montreal Expos pitcher Pedro Martinez thanks the fans during the MLB spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox at Olympic Stadium on April 1, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Pedro Martinez thanks the fans during an MLB spring training game in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Getty Images)

Martinez apologized on his Twitter account, though “apologized” might be the better way to put it.

That second apology tweet that Pedro sent seems to be referencing issues he had with Cleveland fans when he pitched there in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS. While he was warming up, Martinez said that fans hurled racial slurs at him, and he even received a death threat.

It’s just a coincidence that the TBS incident happened on Columbus Day, a day that celebrates the man who didn’t discover America but just landed near it, and then decimated native populations.

A better way for Pedro to pay tribute to Cleveland? Say “Congratulations, guys!” and leave it at that.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher