Goodbye Chief Wahoo. The Cleveland Indians have decided to stop using their silly logo – next year. Naturally, advocates will once again pressure the Washington Redskins to end their name. It’s an old argument that won’t work.
Chief Wahoo should stop being used. The big-toothed logo was disparaging of American Indians. But to those who claim the Redskins name is also offensive, well that depends on the beholder. The Supreme Court, the one with nine people on Capitol Hill who have the final legal say in this country, backed the Redskins’ trademark of the name last year, so that ends that. At least the American Indian doesn’t look silly on the Redskins helmet.
If the Indians are so willing to end Chief Wahoo’s run after 71 years, why not do so immediately? The argument that it takes time is mostly bull. Could it be one last year of money grabbing with fans buying a Chief Wahoo? It’s not hard to end using the uniform logo. A few minutes with scissors can remove the patch.
The team will continue to sell items with the logo in its stores, just not on Major League Baseball’s website. The team continues to profit from the logo while saying it’s insensitive to use on uniforms? Talk about double talk. If the team is so worried about losing money on existing inventory, send it to the same place Super Bowl shirts and caps of losing teams end up and take a tax write-off.
If Indians ownership is so concerned, they’d end the logo’s use right now. Maybe change their team name, too. That’s not happening. Ending a logo is easy. Changing a team name is not.
Chief Wahoo now joins the Atlanta Braves’ Chief Noc-A-Homa, who was retired in 1986, in exile. Yet, Braves fans still do war chants and tomahawk chops.
The Redskins ended several Indian-related practices by the 1960s. The cheerleaders no longer look like squaws and the band doesn’t march around a tepee on the concourse.
But don’t waste time arguing the Redskins name is next. It’s not happening. Already, District mayor Muriel Bowser is once again saying Redskins now that it’s time to talk about luring the team’s next stadium back to the city. Virginia and Maryland legislators don’t seem concerned over the name while lobbying for the stadium. Sponsors aren’t pressuring the team, either.
Goodbye Chief Wahoo. Too bad your farewell tour will take one year.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.