Native American group plans on suing Cleveland Indians over Chief Wahoo

By Daniel S Levine,

While the Cleveland Indians have been decreasing the presence of its old Chief Wahoo logo in recent years, a Native American group has said that the franchise isn’t doing enough. The American Indian Education Center is going to file a $9 billion lawsuit in federal court to get the Indians to stop using the name and the logo all together.

“We're going to be asking for $9 billion and we're basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering,” the group’s director, Robert Roche, told NewsNet5. “It’s been offensive since day one. We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people.”

Unlike the Washington Redskins situation, the concern over Chief Wahoo isn’t as great as the Redskins’ logo and some Cleveland fans don’t see anything wrong with the logo. Also unlike the Redskins, the Indians have stopped using Chief Wahoo on its caps. However, the players do still wear a Wahoo patch on their shirtsleeve.

“I’m not insensitive to the issue, but our 1,650 members of the Wahoo Club, anytime we have a Wahoo Club item they put it up they love it,” Bob Rosen, president of the Wahoo Club, said, reports CBS Cleveland. “Can you imagine the baseball team in this city not being called the Cleveland Indians? I can’t picture that.”

The Redskins situation has drawn much more publicity, likely because Washington is a larger market and the name of the team itself is considered offensive. Just last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoked the Redskins’ trademarks for the name.

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