American Indians protest Cleveland Indians mascot
As excited baseball fans, many of them wearing Clevelands smiling Chief Wahoo logo, headed into Progressive Field for Fridays home opener, a smaller group stood by unable to share their enthusiasm.
Holding hand-painted signs that read, We Are Not Honored, and Our Children Are Not Mascots, a contingent of American Indians and some of their supporters demonstrated against the Indians use of their red-faced Wahoo logo. The protesters, who have been gathering outside the ballparks entrances on Opening Day for years to voice their displeasure about the teams use of the long-standing logo, stayed behind barricades as Indians fans walked by for the game against the Minnesota Twins.
Robert Roche, executive director of the American Indian Education Center, is adamant the team should abolish the logo permanently.
The issue is simple, said the 66-year-old Roche, his hair braided with white threads. We are not mascots. Im nobodys mascot. My children are not mascots. It mocks us as a race of people. It mocks our religion.
The Indians have made Chief Wahoo less visible in recent years, even adding a Block C to their inventory of logos. Roche, though, said the teams efforts to minimize Wahoo are a facade.
Sundance finds more than the Indians logo offensive. We want the logo gone. We want the team name changed, he said. You cant do one without the other.