“Dechiefed” hats, jerseys and jackets of Cleveland fans have been featured on social media where photos of team gear with Chief Wahoo removed are posted accompanied by the hashtag #dechiefwahoo.
The groups asks that Nike live up to its dedication to inclusion, “We want it [diversity and inclusion] to drip over everything Nike does!” and follow the Cleveland fans’ lead and “dechief” their own products. It should be noted that even the Cleveland team, itself, has substituted a red letter “C” for Chief Wahoo on its uniforms.
Profiting from Native Mascotry in not being diverse; it is not being inclusive. Selling items, such as a zip-up jacket with the “Chief Wahoo” and the Nike “Swoosh” makes a powerful statement about Nike’s stance, according the leaders of the group.
Native American group asks Nike to stop selling Chief Wahoo gear
By Allan Brettman
The news release says the group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry “will be holding local protests at the Nike World Headquarters this week in Beaverton, Oregon and conducting a social media campaign to trend the #Dechief hashtag begun by Cleveland Indians fan Dennis Brown."
The release was written by Jacqueline Keeler of Portland, who in April wrote an article in Salon.com, "My life as a Cleveland Indian: The enduring disgrace of racist sports mascots."
Neither Nike nor the Cleveland Indians responded to requests for comment Monday.
Keeler said in a follow-up email Monday morning that the organization has more than 600 members in a Facebook group. She said the group also has received support from the National Congress of American Indians and from Asian American allies at 18 Million Rising and Hyphen magazine.