In fact, not that anyone made a big deal out of it, but he stopped using the nicknames of the Indians and Braves as well as terms like “tomahawk chop” and “powwow” in 1992, when the Blue Jays played the Atlanta Braves in the World Series and a First Nation member wrote to protest.
“He said, ‘Jerry, I appreciate your work but in the World Series, it was so offensive to have the tomahawk chop and to have people talk about the powwows on the mound and then the Cleveland Indians logo and the Washington Redskins,’ ” Howarth recounted. “He just wrote it in such a loving, kind way. He said, ‘I would really appreciate it if you would think about what you say with those teams.’ “
By far, the Redskins team nickname has drawn the most attention over the years, but Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo logo has especially come under fire, drawing protesters to its home games. The team demoted Chief Wahoo last spring, but he’s been a presence on caps, with a block C on helmets.
“We have gone to the Block C as our primary mark,” owner Paul Dolan said in April. “Clearly, we are using it more heavily than we are the Chief Wahoo logo.”
Chief Wahoo isn’t going away, though, because the logo remains popular. The home cap with the Wahoo logo was the team’s best seller last season, with the washed version of the Wahoo cap No. 3.
“[There are] no plans to get rid of Chief Wahoo,” Dolan said. “It is part of our history and legacy.
“We do have empathy for those who take issue with it. We have minimized the use of it and we’ll continue to do what we think is appropriate.”