Freak not out, Wahoo apologists. You’ll see the Chief on the left-arm sleeves of the Cleveland Indians’ jerseys when they take on the Boston Red Sox Monday afternoon in the season opener.
But do be apprised: the reduced usage of the popular red-faced caricature is ongoing and intentional, according to the front office.
In a one-on-one interview with the Plain Dealer’s
Terry Pluto last week
, Indians’ owner Paul Dolan admitted that the team had scaled back the usage of Chief Wahoo and that the controversial logo will continue to play second fiddle to the block C.
Though Dolan said there were no plans to scrap Wahoo outright — "it is part of our history and legacy,” he said, (and furthermore, a huge seller at the team shop) — he expressed empathy for “those who take issue with it” and said the team would continue to do “what we think is appropriate."
Wahoo's diminished presence is hardly breaking news, but Pluto's interview nonetheless galvanized the pro-Wahoo crowd to respond with its recognizable brand of racist political-correctness policing.
"I'm offended by the block C," wrote Jim Alba in the comments section of ESPN's report on the interview.
"When I was in Jr. HS 37 years ago a kid wrote a nasty word on my book cover and he used block lettering so ever since then block letters have offended me. Therefore, no block lettering should ever be allowed anywhere.
That's what we do now right? We react and make sweeping changes whenever anyone is offended, right?"
An anti-Wahoo opening day protest is planned for Monday afternoon outside Progressive Field. Several of the region's Native American groups are partnering for the demonstration, which has been a staple of opening day for the past 40-plus years.
"Across the country, mascots and logos are dehumanizing us," reads the event description on Facebook
. "We have been forced into a caricature of ridiculous proportions. If these mascots were depicting ANY other group of people, they would not EXIST."