CHICAGO -- Baseball fans wear their team’s colors on their hearts and their heads, but as the Cubs play the Indians in the World Series, there’s another battle over the Cleveland Indians’ cartoonish Native American mascot, which some see as a racist and offensive symbol that needs to be called out of the game
“You can’t take away Chief Wahoo, we’ve had him for what? 100 years?” said Indians fan Jack Gibson.
But many are critical of the buck-toothed, red-faced, feather-wearing caricature of a Native American.
“Absolutely, it’s offensive. You listen to their games and their beating on the war drum, whoo hooo, and their painting their faces red, how they can say that’s not offensive?” said Cubs fan Sue Brown.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has vowed to meet with Indians’ ownership to talk about the mascot's use in the future.
“The commissioner has to take a very PC stance,” said Indians fan Ty Burnett, who said he’s a quarter Native American himself. “I personally don’t think it’s a big deal; I do know a lot of people are offended by it, it’s a controversial subject, at the end of the day it’s all in good fun.”
But Native American advocate Mark Denning, who once lent his likeness to Marquette University’s logo and preformed as their first warrior, says Native American team names are racist and do lasting damage.
It’s not clear what changes the commissioner’s meeting with Indians’ ownership team might be, but the franchise has worn the Chief Wahoo hats during the World Series, while during the previous season the team had moved away from the logo and used the red block “C” instead.