It’s certainly a bad time to be a professional sports team with a Native American-related mascot.
The Washington Redskins have been under fire for months, with groups pressuring owner Dan Snyder to change the name. Most recently the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office nixed the team’s trademark
because the office found it “disparaging to Native Americans.”
Now, the Cleveland Indians are facing a $9 billion lawsuit. A Native American group, led by Robert Roche, director of the American Indian Education Center, is planning to file the suit in a federal court.
Roche told WEWS-TV
, “We're going to be asking for $9 billion and we're basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering. It's been offensive since day one. We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people.”
The Indians logo is commonly referred to as “Chief Wahoo,” and members of the Wahoo Club say they “can’t picture” a Cleveland baseball team not dubbed the Indians.
Meanwhile, the club itself has mostly phased out the character, relying mostly on its “C” logo.