Cleveland Baseball Team Will Not Allow Fans With Red-Face, Native American Headdresses in Stadium


Red face and headdresses won't be allowed in Progressive Field any longer - PHOTO BY VINCE GRZEGOREK
  • Photo by Vince Grzegorek
  • Red face and headdresses won't be allowed in Progressive Field any longer

The Cleveland baseball team announced today that fans will not be permitted to wear Native American-style headdresses or red-face paint inside Progressive Field any longer.

Coming in the middle of the franchise's rebranding process, the move dovetails with the team's efforts to distance itself from the racism and hurtful imagery associated with the Indians' moniker and the Chief Wahoo logo.

Owner Paul Dolan has said no decision has been made on the team's new name but he will know by the middle of this year if it will be in place by the 2022 season.

"As we take the necessary time to determine a new name and brand, the team will continue using the Indians name and branding," Dolan said in December 2020. "We will also continue to listen, learn, and partner with local civic leaders, including those in the Native American community, to deepen our support of under-represented groups and make a meaningful, positive impact in our community."

Native American groups and their allies have been protesting the Indians name and the Wahoo mascot for decades, partly because they permitted and even encouraged fans to dress in insensitive fashion dehumanizing to Native Americans. As detailed extensively elsewhere and in Scene, red face is no different than black face, and the team's acceptance of such behavior was roundly insulting.

This year, it's finally turned the page.

  • Illustration by Aaron Sechrist

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