"Chief Wahoo has graced the uniforms of these Cleveland Indians since 1928," opens the event description
for a Pro-Wahoo rally to be staged during the Indians home opener Friday. [That claim is erroneous. Chief Wahoo first appeared in 1947].
No matter. At least 131 people, per Facebook, plan to attend the gathering decked out in "Wahoo or nothing." They will, according to the event, "not let [their] beloved icon go without defending his honor."
These "loyal, insane, neurotic, fanatical" folks will "pay homage to the 90 good long years following the Chief into battle," and they'll toast to "another 90 years paying homage to Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American player in MLB history." (See Scene's reporting
, once again, for refutation of the Sockalexis myth.)
Here's hoping things don't get dicey with the anti-Wahoo protesters, who intend to set up shop as well. They argue that the team's decision to officially remove Wahoo from all team apparel and signage next season doesn't go far enough.
“The team will still be cashing in on racism by selling Chief Wahoo merchandise,” said Marjorie Shelltrack-Villafane, Chairperson of the Committee of 500 Years, in a press release. “We will still be subjected to that demeaning logo, and fans will continue to mock us by wearing fake headdresses, war-whooping, and yelling slurs at us.”
Should be a fun, especially now that the pro-Wahoo crowd will be actively participating in the same sort of activism for which they've disparaged their opponents for years.
One organizer for the pro-Wahoo rally, however, has called for courtesy:
"Our hope is that everyone remains respectful and courteous as we remember that we will be in a family atmosphere," wrote Joe Costello. "Please also remember that our goal is to show our support for the Chief; and that our goal is not, in any way, to degrade or tear down those who would disagree with us."