AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CLEVELAND INDIANS, BUD SELIG, AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Dear Baseball World:
I don’t know the full reasons for Tampa Bay’s change, but I suspect they came to consider the Devil a potentially negative force and image. They may even have been pressured by religious groups. Whatever the reason, they’ve demonstrated the ease with which a baseball team can make a name change; in fact, they’re treating it as part of a fresh new start.
I am not alone in my dislike of the Cleveland team’s name. I don’t think I need to present a history lesson here: I’m sure everyone is aware of the reasons for my position. The title Indian by itself might not be so offensive were it not for the team’s horrendous logo. That cartoonish drawing of a grinning red-faced
creature insults an entire group of human beings. Every time I see it, I literally cringe.
I am not demanding “political correctness” and suggesting that Cleveland re-name the team “Native Americans”—that would just be a mockery. I’m saying—no, I am begging—that someone in the world of major league baseball take this matter seriously, open up a dialogue with Cleveland, and get them to switch to any name at all, as long as it’s not denigrating to any ethnic group. It would even be acceptable to me, though perhaps not to everyone who finds the name objectionable, if the team kept the name but replaced the logo with something more respectful, perhaps a portrait of a famous Native American leader.
While MLB is at it, maybe they could also persuade the Atlanta Braves to cease and desist with their idiotic, annoying and, again, insulting “tomahawk call.”
With great love and respect for baseball,