The Cleveland Indians are on their biggest national stage since their last visit to the ALCS in 2007, and the franchise is celebrating by rubbing its racism in the faces of every person tuning in to watch baseball at the peak of its season. It’s a very strange thing. - From Deadspin
The Indians have chosen to wear their Chief Wahoo caps, which depict a widely-derided racist caricature, in each of the five games they’ve played in the postseason thus far.
The Indians can’t deny that the depiction of Chief Wahoo fosters disrespect of Native Americans—in fact, their claim that they would deemphasize the logo tacitly acknowledged as much.
This is a function of a vastly larger problem, which is that racism against Native Americans is just not viewed with the same seriousness as other kinds of racism in America.
Martínez is from the Dominican Republic, after all, and while that country, like most other Latin American countries, has its own appalling history of mistreatment and marginalization of indigenous populations, the imagery he’s invoking here is highly and specifically American.
But for now, it is the Cleveland Indians’ choice to use the symbol despite their high-minded claims that they are distancing themselves from it, and that right is laid out explicitly in the Bill of Rights written and signed on the stolen, sacred soil that was renamed “America.”