The Cleveland Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday and are now on their way to the World Series. Yet, this was the second, not first, notable victory for the team this week.
On Monday, an Ontario judge turned down a legal challenge brought forward to ban the Cleveland baseball team from using their moniker and controversial mascot, Chief Wahoo, during the American League Championship Series postseason games against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The challenge, brought by Douglas Cardinal, was filed before Game 3 and requested that use of the Chief Wahoo logo not be allowed by the team, the MLB, or Rogers Communications, the owners of the Blue Jays.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Tom McEwan dismissed the application, stating he would give his reasoning at a later date.
According to the Associated Press, Monique Jileson said the Cleveland team was informed of the action Sunday.
The team made an effort to discontinue regular use of Chief Wahoo two years ago, when they began replacing Wahoo with the block-letter “C” logo on caps and jerseys.
In April, owner Paul Dolan said, “We have gone to the Block C as our primary mark.” None-the-less, they have chosen to wear Wahoo-emblazoned caps and jerseys in every 2016 postseason game thus far.
On Friday, the Toronto Star reported that at least two prominent First Nations chiefs had publicly spoken out against the use of the nickname and logo, including Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee and Stacey Laforme, chief of Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
“That name isn’t accurate to describe us,” said Laforme. “It was bestowed by some traveller in history who happened to get lost.”
“For them to come to our territory with that name, that cartoon Indian . . . young people see it, and they grow into it. They can’t help it,” said Evan Sault, New Credit band councilor.
Jerry Howarth, Blue Jays announcer, has also received quite a bit of attention for taking a stance against the nickname.
“For the rest of my career I will not say ‘Indian’ or ‘Brave’ and if I was in the NFL I would not say ‘Redskins,’” Howarth told the Toronto Star.
On Columbus Day earlier this month, Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez addressed Cleveland’s wins over the Boston Red Sox on the TBS postgame show by referring to “hunting Indians” and mocking a war cry. See the video here.