February 19, 2013

Semipro team uses Chief Wahoo

Local baseball team's mascot draws criticism from Chumash leaders

Chumash leaders hope the team will replace its logo—a caricature of a Native American

By Bob Cuddy
Chumash leaders are asking a North County semi-pro baseball team to change its logo, which it says is demeaning to Native Americans.

The mascot for the North County Indians is a grinning, bright-red, Native American caricature that is based on the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo.

That mascot also has drawn criticism over the years, as have various similar logos from professional sports to Little League. The best-known pro sports teams that still have such logos are the Indians, Atlanta Braves, and Washington Redskins. All remain controversial.

Although the discussion has raged nationally for decades, it is new in San Luis Obispo County and was triggered by the North County Indians’ move from Santa Maria to Templeton.

The Indians played their first summer in Templeton last year but had been active in Santa Maria for more than 40 years.

The symbol is “degrading, immoral, racist, (and) disrespectful,” according to Fred Collins, tribal administrator of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council.

The Indians’ Facebook page has received similar comments, calling for a change in its “disrespectful” and “offensive” mascot.
Comment:  You can confirm the Templeton Indians use of Chief Wahoo on their website:

North County Indians Baseball Club Store

This logo isn't just "based on" Chief Wahoo. It is Chief Wahoo. If the Cleveland Indians knew about this, I'd bet they'd order Templeton to change its logo.

For more on Chief Wahoo, see The Most Racist Pro Sports Logo and 40th Annual Chief Wahoo Protest.

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