Overheard at MLB HQ:
Executive: You know, the NFL is really taking a beating in ratings and attendance. Being less fun and more politically correct was the worst idea.
Commissioner Manfred: Hold my $9 beer.
So MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has convinced Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan to send Chief Wahoo to the Happy Hunting Grounds. The team will retire the Indian face caricature after next season.
Having made his league a little less fun, Manfred issued a statement full of drivel about “diversity and inclusion.” Dolan issued a statement in agreement, though he may have been blinking “TORTURE!” in Morse Code. (“That’s a nice All Star Game you’re scheduled to have here in Cleveland in 2019, Mr. Dolan. Shame if anything was to happen to it …”)
According to ESPN:
Every year, groups of Native Americans and their supporters have protested outside the stadium before the home opener in hopes of not only getting the team to abolish Chief Wahoo but to change the Indians' nickname, which they feel is an offensive depiction of their race.
And every year they find scads of lefty sports journalists to pound their high chairs along with them. Even when the Indians were Indians made it to the World Series in 2016, sanctimonious liberals couldn’t be happy for them.
As ESPN notes, the NFL’s Washington Redskins have been under the same pressure -- the vast majority of it coming from outraged sports media types. (Funny, 90% of American Indians have better things to do than worry about a sports mascot -- go figure.) And as ESPN further notes, the Skins won: “Last year, a Supreme Court ruling in another case cleared the way for the Redskins to preserve the trademark on its logo.”
But hey, there’s a long, proud tradition of pre-emptive surrender in the P.C. wars, and baseball doesn’t seem to have the stomach for this or any fight. So look out Braves. They’ll be coming to chop your tomahawks soon.
(Interesting question for the MLB Network: You have a long off-season to fill and you show a lot of baseball movies, including the iconic Major League and its hideously deformed offspring, Major League II. Both are about the Indians, and indeed, much of the funniest stuff in Major League involves Chief Wahoo and the silly, Indian-themed rituals of the Cleveland fans. Will you still air those movies, or edit them to avoid offending social justice whiners?)