“The grinning, hook-nosed caricature, later known as Chief Wahoo, first appeared in 1947, the same year that legendary baseball promotor Bill Veeck desegregated the American league by signing the black star Larry Doby for the Cleveland Indians.”
Veeck commissioned a new, cartoonish design to replace the old Chief Wahoo.
Cleveland Indians mascot, 1951-1972; 1980-present
Twenty-five years later, the Cleveland Indian Center sued the team for $9 million over the offensive depiction of a ‘smiling, dumb savage.’ A lawyer for the centre said:
“Our position is that we have no problem with the team being called the Cleveland Indians. It’s Chief Wahoo that is the objection.”
The case was settled out of court, and while some Indian-themed sports logos disappeared, Cleveland players still wear Chief Wahoo uniforms.
(Info from Daniel Engber’s article in the New York Times.)
Photo by Tony Dejak / AP, via New York Daily News
Once again, Chief Wahoo’s days could be numbered.
The Cleveland Indians need to end Chief Wahoo ASAP, New York Daily News
Indians logo next under scrutiny? Fox Sports
Indians asking for fans’ opinions on Chief Wahoo logo, Sporting News
Chief Wahoo has been demoted, but not because logo is racist, New Republic
RIP Chief Wahoo, theScore.com
Washington Redskins’ mascot controversy makes Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo look even more stupid and racist, cleveland.com