CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Could the Cleveland Indians be considering an image makeover?
Or are they simply just testing the pulse of their fans?
The team sent out a “fan satisfaction survey” to select fans and included in it were questions asking their opinion on the team’s current logos including Chief Wahoo, the long standing yet controversial cartoon caricature that has been featured on hats and uniforms since the 1940’s.
Questions asked included:
– This logo reflects the heritage of the Indians
– I feel a strong positive emotional connection to this logo
– This logo makes me proud of the Indians
– This logo represents more than the team – it represents the city of Cleveland
– This logo is an important part of my support for the Indians
Answer options included:
– Strongly disagree
– Neither agree or disagree
– Strongly agree
The team asked the same questions, with the same answer options, about the block “C” and the script “Indians” logos used by the club within the same survey.
“The Indians continuously survey our fans on all matters of the organization,” the team said in a statement to 92.3 The Fan. “In this instance, the feedback on logos and uniforms was a small part of an overarching fan satisfaction survey and represents a normal course of action in our effort to ultimately provide the best fan experience possible.”
This is not the first time the Indians have conducted survey’s from ticket buyers. Earlier this year they requested feedback from fans on their current ticket pricing structure.
The inclusion of Chief Wahoo in the survey comes as Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, is being pressured to change the team’s name and logo by various groups who find it offensive and disrespectful to native Americans.
Chief Wahoo has long been deemed offensive to native Americans and protestors have appeared around Progressive Field on opening day as well as other games that draw large crowds since the park opened in 1994.
Chief Wahoo has taken many forms over the years and dates back to 1947. The logo was redesigned in 1951 and is the basis of the current version which has been in use since.
Wahoo has been the primary logo used on Indians hats in the late 1940’s through 1950’s before being replaced with various versions of a “C” starting in the 1960’s but it returned in 1986 and has remained since.
The Indians added a script “I” alternate cap in 2002, which is no longer used and has been replaced with a block “C” alternate hat. Wahoo was removed this past season from the team’s batting helmets and replaced with the block “C” emblem as well.
With each uniform tweak, which lessens Chief Wahoo’s appearance, team officials have denied claims that they are quietly trying to phase out the logo.
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- Bob Roche From American Indian Education Center Talks About ‘Redskins’, Chief Wahoo (cleveland.cbslocal.com)
- Racism of Sports Logos Put Into Context By American Indian Group (cleveland.cbslocal.com)