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Penobscot Nation opposes 'Chief Wahoo' mascot


In October 2000, the Penobscot Nation of Maine passed a resolution to ask the Cleveland Indians to eliminate its "Chief Wahoo" mascot and logo.

Seven years later, the tribe hasn't heard back on its request. But don't count on any changes -- the team's vice president of public relations says "Chief Wahoo" isn't going away.

"We ask, if there is no intent to demean, can it be demeaning? We have no intent to demean," Bob DiBiasio tells The Portland Press Herald.

The issue is a sensitive one for the tribe. Louis F. Sockalexis, the first American Indian to play in the major leagues, was Penobscot and the team has used him to justify the "Indians" name and "Chief Wahoo" mascot.

Tribal leaders don't object to the use of "Indians" but they definitely have a problem with the gross caricaturization of an Indian as "Chief Wahoo." "I see the name 'Indians' on their uniforms and I immediately think of Sockalexis, and I think that's an honor," Donna Loring, the tribe's representative in the state Legislature tells the paper.

"I think of something else when I see that logo," she adds.

Get the Story:
At loggerheads over a logo (The Portland Press Herald 10/18)

Relevant Links:
Cleveland Indians - http://indians.mlb.com
National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media - http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm

Related Stories:
Opinion: Get rid of offensive Indian mascots (10/17)
Editorial: Eliminate 'Chief Wahoo' mascot (10/15)
Chief Wahoo won't appear at 'civil rights' game (3/22)
Supreme Court refuses Chief Wahoo protest lawsuit (5/19)