This week, the Cleveland Indians, one of Major League Baseball’s longest running franchises, announced that very soon it would be dropping the word “Indians” and adopting a new name. There have been other professional baseball teams in Cleveland that did not have a nickname tied to colonialism and mislabeling Native Americans as “Indians.” This announcement from the Indians comes not that long after the Washington Redskins of the National Football Team decided to change their nickname to The Washington Football Club, which is what they’ve played under this entire season.
The Indians not only have a problematic name, they also have “Chief Wahoo” as their mascot. Wahoo is as deeply stereotypical of natives as he can be. Chief Wahoo will also presumably be retired as well.
Several college level athletic departments still use nicknames that have ties to a more openly racist America. In the majors, there’s still the Atlanta Braves, whose fans do to a mass “tomahawk chop” chant, replete with fake native chanting. However, with both Cleveland’s baseball team and Washington’s football team changing their names, two of the strongest holdouts have folded, and it seems like only a matter of time before racist team mascots are a thing of the past.
And at that point, do we live in America anymore? If a sports fan can’t casually ingest some white nationalism with their football or baseball, are they really living in the land of the free, or the home of the brave? We decided to randomly call a few Americans and ask them for their opinions on the subject, and whether they think we really live in America, if there are no more teams with racist nicknames and mascots.
Dustin Pewpson, Opinion Writer, 45, South Bay, Indiana:
I think it’s just disgusting. How dare these sports team force us to acknowledge that America was once racist by taking away our racist mascots? They’re erasing history! Sure, I don’t want to admit that history exists at literally any other time except when they take down a statue to a confederate general, or change a sports team name, but still, I care about history, and don’t want my country’s racist roots ignored unless I’m the one doing the ignoring!
Susan McGee, 62, Retired Teacher, Coral Springs, Idaho:
I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Sure, we love our traditions here in America, but I think we can also grow, change, and adapt with the times. Look at the Republican Party. They used to be the Freedom Riders helping black people register to vote, and now they’re the antidemocratic party trying to throw out black people’s votes to steal an election! Times change, people change.
Farts Willingham, 58, Ocean Bay, Montana:
Why the hell can’t liberals leave anything alone? Y’all always gotta go and change shit. Things were fine with our Redskins, Indians, and of course the Bayville N-Words. I’d say the real word, but I’d get canceled and thrown out America and forced into a gay marriage abortion. And honestly, where am I supposed to go for my culturally acceptable racism now? Besides Fox News, OANN, Breitbart, NASCAR rallies, police stations, and voter registration booths?