The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team. The term Indians is general in the sense that it can be seen as not as offensive in comparison to other sports teams’ mascots. However, the Cleveland Indians have been known for their offensive mascot Chief Wahoo – A caricature image of a red skinned chief.
The depiction of the chief is all but what a chief does not stand for. The image is of a bright red complexion and a feathered headband playing up to Native American stereotypes. This mascot has experience much backlash from the Native American community with picketers at games holding signs saying, “People Not Mascots” or “Stop Teaching Your Children Racism.” While there are people who are protesting the existence of the mascot there are equally as many, if not more supporting its existence.
Today the Cleveland Indians have kept their name but phased out Chief Wahoo due to its offensive depiction of Native Americans. Since then the team has adopted a new mascot by the name of Slider. Slider is a creature of some sort, who is fuzzy purple and yellow character who sports the Cleveland Indians uniform at every game.
The Cleveland Indians are an example of the change of in sports and media. Hopefully the Cleveland Indians will set the trend for other major league sports in the relinquishing of the improper use of Native American symbols and names as mascots.