photo courtesy // Flickr.com

By: Jelson Montero, Staff Writer

The Cleveland Indians have recently made news around the baseball world, announcing that the team will no longer wear the Chief Wahoo logo or sell team merchandise that has the chief logo printed on it.

     The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1915, and have always worn the Wahoo logo on their caps and jerseys.

Not to the surprise of many, the logo will finally be discontinued from use in 2019 because of the offensive meaning it has behind it.

The logo is a caricature of a painted red face that is suppose to represent the team name, which is the Cleveland Indians. However, with great push back from Native Americans and sports fans, the logo has been classified as a stereotypical mark on Native Americans.

The elimination of the Chief Wahoo logo can have a huge impact on other sports teams and universities with offensive team names or logos.

In fact, the Washington Redskins and Florida State Seminoles have two of the most offensive team names and logos towards Native Americans.

The Florida State Seminoles football team acquired their name from the Seminole tribe that originated from Florida.

Although the Seminoles have tried to honor the tribe and stay away from offensive terms, their mascot does not seem to grasp the concept.

    The Seminole mascot rides around on a horse with white and red paint around his face portraying a Native American from the Seminole Tribe.

The University’s mascot remains offensive, and it would remain to see what the type of initiative the university takes.

The Washington Redskins have had a long lasting battle with the public and Native Americans regarding their team name.

The term “redskin” is a slang word that inappropriately represents Native Americans because of their use of paint on their faces.

The question remains to why it has taken so long for this football team to change their name, but it seems that the Cleveland Indians actions to eliminate their Chief Wahoo logo will impact the decision for the Washington Redskins.

    Many students at Bergen Community College feel that the Cleveland Indians made the right choice by taking action.

Mariah Calvano, who is a student in her first semester at BCC said, “ I don’t know much about sports, but I do know that this was long overdue. The team logo was offensive and should have been taken down years ago. Hopefully other teams or schools with offensive names can think about the impact they have.”

Erimir Vargas, a student in his fourth semester at BCC said, “ Its surprising that it took so long for the logo to be eliminated. Having a logo that has a painted face and certain color to portray a race or group of people is simply wrong.”

The Cleveland Indians are the first to take action; however there can be more to come.

The Washington Redskins and Florida State Seminoles are now on the clock and have an easy choice to make from the eyes of students, sports fans  and Native Americans.

The decision made by the Cleveland Indians should not only impact those teams, but any other team or school across the country with an offensive name and logo attached to them.