Judge dismisses attempt to ban Indians from using name, Chief Wahoo logo
The long-shot effort to ban Cleveland's Chief Wahoo logo for the ALCS games in Toronto has failed
An indigenous Canadian activist's effort to use the court system to ban use of the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo and the name "Indians" has failed.
Douglas Cardinal mounted a legal challenge to the Indians' use of Chief Wahoo in advance of the ALCS games between the Indians and Blue Jays in Toronto. However, the AP reports that Ontario Superior Court Justice Tom McEwen dismissed Cardinal's application on Monday. Judge McEwen said he would provide his legal reasoning for the decision at a later date.
Cardinal's attorney, Monique Jilesen, argued that the Chief Wahoo logo and the Indians' name were in violation of Ontario's human rights code and that the team would wear spring training jerseys that did not have the Wahoo insignia or the name Indians on them.
Prior to Judge McEwen's decision, MLB released the following statement on the issue:
"Major League Baseball appreciates the concerns of those that find the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians to be offensive. We would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation. Given the demands for completing the League Championship Series in a timely manner, MLB will defend Cleveland's right to use their name that has been in existence for more than 100 years."
The Indians-Blue Jays' matchup has indeed fostered a new round of criticism for Cleveland's use of Native American imagery. Prior to the ALCS, one Blue Jays broadcaster announced that he would not refer to the team as the Indians during the series.
It's worth noting that the Indians in recent years have quietly de-emphasized the use of the Wahoo logo in favor of the block "C," but it's still present on some uniform ensembles.