October 30, 2016

Another reason to back the Cubs

Portland Press Herald -  The Cleveland Indians hope to win their first World Series since 1948 this fall. Many members of the Penobscot Nation – from whence the team’s namesake player came – hope it will be the baseball team’s last season with the controversial “Chief Wahoo” logo.

Cleveland’s team is called the Indians because of Louis Sockalexis, a native of the Penobscots’ Indian Island reservation in Maine and a gifted athlete who was the first recognized Native American to play in the major leagues when he joined the team in 1897. He died 16 years later at age 42 in a logging accident in northern Maine, his career cut short by alcoholism and hampered by racist jeers from fans and insulting dispatches from sportswriters, who never tired of references to scalping, warpaths, firewater and General Custer.

“The legacy is something that Sockalexis left, as far as I’m concerned,” Penobscot tribal elder and council member Donna Loring says of the team’s nickname. “But the logo is very demeaning, and it’s insulting.”

The Penobscot Nation petitioned the team to stop using its “Chief Wahoo” mascot – a cartoonish red-skinned Indian with an exaggerated nose, toothy grin and a warrior’s feather – in 2000. The team has never responded. In a 2007 interview with the Portland Press Herald, the team’s vice president for public relations, Bob DiBiasio, said the team would not open a dialogue with the tribe on the issue.

“We ask, if there is no intent to demean, can it be demeaning?” said DiBiasio, who still holds the position. “We have no intent to demean.”


Anonymous said...

On the other hand, we're talking about Chicago, think about THAT for a moment or two. Always felt that town deserved the Cubs and we don't see much reason for that Karma to have changed much. You may hate the logo, but Cleveland is still a working class town---to the extent that anyone can still find a job.

Capt. America said...

This is very different from the Redskins issue. Some
east coast indians *chose* to use a red dye on their
skin. The name "Redskins" has been cynically alleged
to be racist to manipulate people who really face
discrimination on account of skin color.

Tom Puckett said...

Its really "convenient" how the "world" series comes along right around election time to provide a distraction from focusing on the candidates and issues.

Not sure how the big market teams got passed by this year (that is, what the exact mechanism was for causing it to happen) but the large ticket distraction Boston Red Sox are no longer on the drought list so these two teams seem to be it...

How about this: suspend all professional sports until congress passes ranked choice voting (and makes election day a national holiday), a binding climate treaty, a corporations-are-not-persons amendment, gun control (for local cops, too), universal health care, free 2-16 education, legalizes all drugs and provides funding for drug treatment, bans fracking, coal and oil extraction to be replaced by a renewable energy transition that includes fossil fuel owners and workers, requires all foods to be GMO labeled, closes at least 50% of our military bases and brings our troops home to help with the green transition. For a start.

I'll bet that all gets done rather quickly under a sports ban until the country's business is sorted out, probably before the end of football season.

Do we really care who wins a game more than how many people we are bombing and killing around the world? Or whether we will have a world in which to obsess about who can deposit a weird shaped pigskin ball over the other end? Election season seems a good time to focus on world issues, but sempre bread and circuses.

I find Atlanta's tomahawk chop as hollywood-bad as the Indian's logo. William & Mary got rid of their Tribe logo, which could have been a copy of Cleveland's.

Finally, The Many Worlds Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics suggests that the world is constantly splitting off into all possible worlds every second all the time. Google a few YouTube videos on the subject for those late night needlepoint sessions, if you're tired of political discourse.

What that means in the baseball world is that there is a possible alternative world where, say, the Cubbies win year after year after year. Yay!

But, when working to see yourself in such a world (as the Matrix kid told Neo, its not the spoon that bends, there is no spoon, its you that bends), be sure to widen your focus to include a Jill Stein Green Party presidency, this time, for example, and any other features of that world you want.

Don't make Darby O'Gill's mistake of using one of his three wishes for a big house, but forgetting to include the servants or the money to run the house, in his wish. His first wish was for a big crop of potatoes so he had that part covered. Or Harry Potter not enunciating the destination clearly when using flue powder to travel - he ended up in a slightly wrong location.

Look well, Oh Wolves - Akela

Cheers, Tom

Anonymous said...

If the Cubs lose they have a new curse they can blame. The owners donated 1 million bucks to trumps campaign. By the way recent polling suggests that 84% of Native Americas could care less about the names of Pro sports franchises, they care more about issues like the Dakota pipeline, to bad Marlon Brando is dead, there would be more interest in the media over it.