Courtesy Jason Miller/Getty Images
Three fans dressed in red-face at Wednesday night's Indians game.

Cleveland Fans Paint Faces Red in Racist Show of Support for Team

ICTMN Staff
10/3/13

Several Cleveland Indians fans encouraged to ‘Rock Your Red,’ for the team’s wild-card playoff game last night took things too far.

The Cleveland fans were captured on the TBS broadcast dressed up like the team’s mascot, Chief Wahoo. They wore Cleveland baseball jerseys, painted their faces and necks red, and and wore feathered headdresses. (Click here for video of the fans)

Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com, called it an “odious scene,” adding that it was offensive and disgraceful. Ted Berg of USAToday.com used three words to describe what the fans did: "It’s not good."

This incident comes in the midst of the hotly contested debate over a name change for the Washington Redskins. The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has said that he will ‘never’ change the team’s name, despite numerous media organizations, U.S. lawmakers and Native American groups calling for him to change it.

The Oneida Nation, NFL sponsors, recently announced plans to convene in Washington, D.C. during the NFL’s fall meeting next week to garner more support in its campaign to convince Snyder to change his mind. The Indians’ mascot has also been the subject of protests by Cleveland fans.

RELATED 'Cleveland AIM to Again Protest at 'Progressive' Field Opening Game'

Twitter was fluttering over the Cleveland Indians incident. Brandon Lott wrote, "Indians fans dress up in red face for Wild Card game exactly why I stopped supporting my home team." MLB Memes posted an image that said, "That Awkward Moment When You Are Racist on National Television.” And Rusty Ryan wrote, “Who's the idiot that thought this was a good idea?"

ThinkProgress.org questioned whether TBS was desensitized to how offensive the image was because of its close affiliation to the Atlanta Braves. "TBS’s founder, Ted Turner, used to own the Atlanta Braves, and the network used to broadcast the Braves’ every game. TBS played a major part in making the Tomahawk Chop a thing during the Braves’ worst-to-first playoff run in 1991 and during Atlanta’s incredible stretch of 15 consecutive division titles thereafter. If TBS doesn’t see a problem with this sort of dress-up, it isn’t hard to understand why," wrote Travis Waldron from Think Progress.

According to NBCSports.com, the Indians have "absolutely no plans to phase out Chief Wahoo."

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I've always said that the best thing about freedom of speech in America is the fact that it makes the idiots and the assholes very easy to spot. I have added "racists" to that list as well. I hear the assertion that we're just trying to be PC Police when it couldn't be further from the truth. Political Correctness has NOTHING to do with genocide, discrimination, poverty and overt racism.

 A merrick 's picture
A merrick
Submitted by A merrick on
have your racist precious moment cleveland, your next on the chop block HA HA

spottedfoot's picture
spottedfoot
Submitted by spottedfoot on
Disgusting! Their 'ancestors' no doubt rode with 'injun killin' wachichu soldiers with long blonde hair . . . . . guess what happened to them. <g>

Robin Posekany's picture
Robin Posekany
Submitted by Robin Posekany on
We all know that this is blatantly racist. Sadly, despite the fact that one would hope that true common sense would have intercepted this act, it is extremely possible that these young men only thought that they were emulating their team's icon in full show of support. The feasibility of this being true absolutely sickens me. The ignorance that abounds and is gleefully embraced and perpetuated by most of the flag waving 'Americans,' from the school systems to the government, we know as prevailing. I will always hope against hope that it will one day be abolished. I wish I had the key to making this happen. I do not, but I will never stop sharing what I have been taught, acting for education and change...and hoping. Heck, perhaps these ones need our prayers just as much as they need our presence and voices?

Newehebejo's picture
Newehebejo
Submitted by Newehebejo on
Native people lived through a lot; we are still around to prove we have warrior blood. Acts like this does not offend me; it makes me stronger as a person and proud to be who I am. I'm a Utah Ute fan, I am proud to wear those colors, if someone goes over board with their war paint, I don't care, I'll take one for the team and the Tribe.
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