A youth baseball club in a southwest Ontario town has decided to drop its Indians name and logo, calling it an attempt to set a good example and teach its players about respect.
The Alvinston Indians, who use a logo similar to Chief Wahoo of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, plan to come up with a new name and have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the cost of replacement uniforms, equipment and ballpark signage.
“Our message is that if the pro teams aren’t willing to do this and take the lead on this, then us little-leaguers will,” said coach Dan Cumming, who sits on the Alvinston Minor Ball Association’s board of directors.
The association has used the Indians name for 60 years. Cumming said a number of new names and logos are being considered, but a decision has not yet been made.
The subject has received heightened attention with Cleveland enjoying a long playoff run this post-season.
As of Wednesday evening, the association had raised more than $21,000, well on the way to its $29,000 goal.
An effort to ban the Indians from using their name and Chief Wahoo logo – -a grinning cartoon man with red skin and a feather in his headband — was dismissed by an Ontario judge before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The judge issued his ruling after lawyers for an indigenous activist sought to bar use of the team’s name and logo in Ontario, arguing they amounted to racial discrimination.
The Indians dropped Chief Wahoo as their primary logo two years ago although it’s still featured prominently on hats and uniform sleeves.