The grinning red-faced caricature

Trump is tantrumming because a baseball team is going to stop calling itself an insulting name.

The team has been known as the Cleveland “Indians.” Needless to say the team did not restrict its members to Native Americans.

Native American groups and some sections of the team’s fanbase have argued the name is racially insensitive for years. The move, which was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by ESPN, is likely to be formally announced in the coming days. Washington’s NFL team decided to stop using a name considered a slur towards Native Americans earlier this year and are now known simply as the Washington Football Team. Cleveland may follow a similar convention while the team decide on a new name.

Yes, “Redskins” is a slur all right. There are no teams called the [City] Whiteskins.

The New York Times reports that Cleveland will continue with their present name for the 2021 season before cutting “Indians” in 2022. The team dropped their Chief Wahoo logo, the grinning, red-faced caricature used since 1947, from their uniforms in 2018 after decades of complaints that it was racist.

Gee, it only took until 2018. How impressive.

“Chief Wahoo”:

Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms - ABC 36 News

Is it always racist?

Three other major league teams who use Native American names, MLB’s Atlanta Braves, the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks have no plans to change their branding. The latter team say they have no intention of changing their name as it honors a historical figure, Black Hawk, who was a prominent figure in Illinois history.

Dozens of college and high schools teams are named after Native American tribes in their local areas. In 2005 college sports’ governing body, the NCAA, looked into the use of Native American names. Some teams stopped using Native American names and iconography that were deemed offensive, but others who received approval from local tribes continued to do so.

Perhaps the most famous example is the Florida State Seminoles. The tribe’s council approved the use of the name as well as other traditions involved with FSU’s teams.

That’s interesting. The particulars make a difference.

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