Facing mounting pressure from Native American groups and Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, the Cleveland Indians announced today they will be dropping the caricature "Chief Wahoo" logo from their uniforms beginning in 2019.


The move brings back to the forefront the issue of Native American nicknames and mascots on sports teams. Two school in West Michigan have dealt with the question in the past 15 years, with completely opposite decisions. Marshall High School in Marshall, MI changed their nickname and mascot to Redhawks in 2005.

In early 2017, the Paw Paw Board of Education voted to keep the Redskins nickname, unless it was faced with losing federal funding.

Locally, revenues from the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribe's Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek is being used to fund programs to "positive relationships with an understanding of the history and role of Michigan's Indian tribes and Native Americans in the state," according to a news release..

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported in January of 2017 that "eligible projects include costs associated with changing mascots that may be considered offensive to Native Americans 'with more culturally appropriate representations or new mascots/logos.'"

BONUS READING

Todd Radom is one of the top logo designers in sports and is an expert on the history of those logos. Here he wrote about how the Chief Wahoo logo came to be.

BONUS VIDEO