Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Time to Strike Out This Logo

Oct 17, 2016

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I am a Blue Jays fan and the author of a book about aboriginal stereotypes so perhaps that qualifies me to weigh in on the controversy about the Cleveland baseball team (as broadcasters have taken to calling it, to avoid saying the I word) and its logo.

Frankly I don't understand why this remarkably tasteless image has survived this long, let alone why anyone would feel it should not be done away with. The team itself seems to have half replaced it. As I watch the games I notice that many players have a simple C on their caps instead of the offensive stereotype, so why not make it official? There appears to be resistance by ownership to what it perceives to be "political correctness," but surely it is not PC to respect the dignity of your country's founding peoples?

Others defend the logo as part of the team's tradition, but traditions change all the time when they have outlived their usefulness, which this one surely has. There has been a trend over the past years to move away from demeaning stereotypes in sports franchises with several teams at the college and pro levels changing names or logos or getting rid of ridiculous practices such as Chief Noc-a-Homa, the Atlanta Braves mascot (now retired) who performed a "dance" when a Braves player hit a home run.

There seems no reason why Cleveland shouldn't follow suit. 

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