CLE Indians' Chief Wahoo controversy continues

Posted at 9:29 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 21:29:32-04

For the past 20 years, a group of Native Americans and other activists have been rallying for the name and logo of the team to change.

Sundance, one of the demonstrators out today said, "They're making a whole bunch of money off of that symbol and that team name & we feel exploited."

The group claims the buck tooth, red-faced image is offensive to true Native American culture.

“It's bigotry, the stereotyping, the obvious racism is part of the problem, we're not being seen as people" said Sundance.

But for years, the community has been split.

Thomas Williams, a Wahoo Supporter said, "I understand why they want to downgrade it a little bit, for sensitivity reasons, but it'll always be number 1, even if you put it as number 2, its number 1 in our hearts"

Jessica Thomas agrees with him, "I love the Indians, I love Chief Wahoo."

As does Brett Wesche,"I just think it shows our society is being soft."

Since 2009, with the first Wahoo sign coming down, its appeared that the franchise's solution has been trying to slowly wean the fan base off the Chief and onto the Block C logo.

“We've heard it before, I don't put very much stock in it, I doubt that it will have any affect," Sundance said.

The phase-out seems to be working, as back in 2013, the four top selling Cleveland Caps were without Wahoo on them. This year, there’s a been a mixture of both logos so far.

As Chicky Shguerra walks down the street toward the game he says, "I got the C on my hat today so, ya know, either way it's still the Cleveland Indians"

Wesche disagrees, "I don't like the block C, just because I like chief Wahoo."

"The only way to stop people from purchasing wahoo is to change the name and the logo. One without the other is pointless," said Sundance.

The Cleveland Indians sent a statement quote on this topic saying, "at (the) present time (we) have no plans of making a change.  We will continue to have the Wahoo logo represented on our uniforms and home cap during the 2016 season."