Cleveland's Chief Wahoo Controversy: Time for Tribe To Move On?

Matt King@TheRealMattKingFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2009

Where do we draw the line?

How do we decide when people are being too easily offended or when someone is being too offensive?

With Major League Baseball's decision to replace Cleveland's July 4th hats last year (pictured above) with a MLB-pulls-Chief-Wahoo-off-Cleveland-s-09-Stars-?urn=mlb,164637">star-spangled "C," it brings to light once more the whole issue with the Indians and their mascot.

The Indians have been around since 1901, and if you think their mascot is offensive now, imagine if they still had the one from the late 1940s.

For the most part, Cleveland fans love their mascot.  They don't see an Indian, they see a logo that maybe reminds them of their childhood.  It's nostalgic more than anything.

But does that excuse the fact that some are deeply offended by the red-faced representation of a people that doesn't just toe the line of racism, it blatantly jumps across?

So, again I ask, where do we draw the line?

Should Cleveland fans let go of Chief Wahoo?  Do they concede that the harm the image does outweighs their nostalgia and attachment to a picture?  Should the Indians even be the Indians any more?

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This is not a new issue.  Activists have been protesting the use of Chief Wahoo and the Indians for decades.  But it hasn't been changed yet.  Will it ever?

If so, to what?  Do they adopt another nickname or go with the Cleveland Native Americans?

This would open up a can of worms.  What would be next?  Do the Atlanta Braves change their name and logo? 

Do we get rid of all possible slurs altogether?  Do the New York Yankees become the New York Northerners? 

All I have are questions.  No answers.

It is tradition versus tact.  And we can never underestimate how strongly people feel about their traditions.

Major League Baseball seems to be taking the right steps towards progress with the hat decision, but it's going to take a major league leap to get this controversy worked out once and for all.

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