Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Tribe - Solving racial backlash
I've been reading a lot of information, posts, litigation, etc lately regarding the use of the term "Indians" and, specifically, the Chief Wahoo logo. I admit, my position has changed a bit on the subject. A quick aside: how is it that the Indian Motorcycle Company (now part of Polaris) isn't having their pants sued off by Native Americans? Their logo, insignia, and the naming of their models (Chieftain, ex) would fall as fair fodder for litigation, I would submit.
It is no secret: I don't like the Block C concept. But, I admit that I only hate it because it represents, today, the blatant removal of the Chief Wahoo logo. That said, here are my thoughts in terms of getting rid of Chief Wahoo and the Indians name:
Rename the team to "The Tribe." Use the Block C logo. Alternately, use a "T" logo. Allow me to elaborate.
A "Tribe" is simply a group of things, people, etc. It is not specific to any culture, race, religion, etc. According to at least one definition, a tribe is: "a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader."
That describes a baseball team in more ways than one. Plus, the organization has been using the "Tribe" moniker for decades. It is already a part of the team's culture. Heck, look at the name of my own site!
Now, the logo. The Philadelphia Phillies have a "P." The Reds have a stylized "C." We have the Nationals, the Rangers... The Athletics have been using the script "A" since its inception in 1901. Granted, the letter was emblazoned on a white elephant as something of a ruse, but it seemed to have worked for them. (http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/oak/history/uniforms_logos.jsp)
The Tribe could simply do the same thing. I know, I know, we Cleveland fans hate the Block C. But, I think that's mainly because we are accustomed to seeing the Chief Wahoo logo. I think we could get used to the Block C. Alternately, we find either a Block T. Heck, we could even use some kind of stylized C and/or T as the logo.
As an aside (yes, I digress. Often.), the Braves can simply change their logo and they would be fine. After all, are we not the "Home of the Brave" according to our own National Anthem!? So, ditch the tomahawk and find some other logo that represents "brave."
One suggestion was that Cleveland rename their team as "The Coasters" (or similar) since they are within proximity of Cedar Point, the supposed roller coaster capital of the US (the world? I dunno.). I think that is an awful idea. Given much of the history of the team, the logo, and team name for that matter, would end up as a caricature version of a coffee table coaster. One person already made a shirt for it... http://skreened.com/forwardprogresstees/cleveland-coasters-baseball-team-logo-tee/
Let's dump the stereotypical Native American logo, put the past behind us, and change the team name one more time. After all, it won't be the first time... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Indians#Cleveland_baseball_prior_to_the_Indians_franchise