Illustration by Aaron Sechrist/Smithsonian NMAI

Artist Call: Make Cleveland Indians Owner Into 'Grinning Idiot Mascot'

May 07, 2013

On the heels of the Cleveland American Indian Movement protesting the use of the offensive "Chief Wahoo" mascot outside Progressive Field at the Cleveland MLB team's home opener on April 8, has come up with an idea. A writer posting to that site today wants to commission an artist to do a "grotesque, mocking caricature" of Cleveland team owner Larry Dolan. The selected design would then be printed on T-shirts and sold.

In a statement the Cleveland AIM has said, "We continue to insist that Cleveland Baseball abolish use of the clearly bigoted, racist, and shameful 'Indians' team name and the despicable 'Chief Wahoo' logo." As pressure has been building against club owner Daniel Snyder and his Washington NFL team's use of the term "redskins," considered derogatory, even racist, by many Native Americans, it's hoped that Dolan and his Cleveland team will also come under greater scrutiny. This is especially true after recent comments by club president Mark Shapiro indicating that "Chief Wahoo isn't going anywhere." Both the U.S. Congress and the D.C. Council are currently examining the Washington Redskins name, and it's also the subject of a federal trademark lawsuit.

Now, has come up with their cartoon Dolan idea. "I hate the Cleveland Indian’s logo," writes A.S., the author of the piece. " I have some close friends in Cleveland that are native American and they hate it also. It’s embarrassing for the region. It’s embarrassing for humanity.... I want to commission an artist to do a grotesque, mocking caricature of Larry Dolan that I can print on some t-shirts and sell to other people that are offended by his profiteering from humiliating and stereotyping an oppressed minority group."

One artist's submission has already been received and published. To see that and to read the entire article, click here.







Eddie's picture
Submitted by Eddie on

I'm sorry. I don't see what the BIG deal is! I am an AMERICAN of MEXICAN decent. I am a huge fan of the ATLANTA BRAVES baseball organization. So much so that I have a tattoo of 'CHIEF KNOCKAHOMA'. I would die to have a professional team use a MEXICAN mascot. I am proud of my history. 'CHIEF WAHOO' and "CHIEF KNOCKHOMA' were NEVER meant to make fun of NATIVE AMERICANS (I understand that it is POLITICALLY INCORRECT to say "INDIAN" anymore because it is a 'white man's' name given to to them). That goes for the WASHINGTON REDSKINS as well.

Just my thought.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

Because it wouldn't be like them having a "Mexican mascot," but it would be like a mascot named "Beaner" and dancing around a sombrero and sleeping during the timeouts.

It perpetuated negative stereotypes and incorrect representation of Native American culture and history. "Redskin" is a derogatory term used to mock many Native Americans and some people are shocked because it is truly like having a mascot named "Beaner" or "Wetback."

It is terribly offensive to display a Native American as red-skinned.