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Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Guardians


Bill0813

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3 hours ago, dont care said:

The tomahawk is a tool I see a lot of though at hunting/fishing/outdoors stores so it’s not just a NA symbol. I never use one but I can see their uses if you wanted a light ax but didn’t want a knife or machete. 


Yes, I'm sure that the imagery the Atlanta Braves are trying to conjure up in the hearts and minds of their fans with this logo...

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... is that of a truly courageous outdoor enthusiast wandering the aisles of his local Cabela's in preparation for a hunting or fishing trip with his buddies from work. 
 

3 hours ago, dont care said:

And I don’t see how an arrow head is distinctly NA when primitive cultures all over the world have used flint and stone arrow heads until metal forging was discovered. 

 
Those Native Americans who take umbrage with the symbols of their culture being callously appropriated in order to serve as part and parcel of the branding systems of sports franchises and athletic programs will be greatly comforted in learning that the depictions of flint and stone arrow heads they see adorning the uniforms, venues, marketing materials, and licensed products of such teams may, in fact, have been insensitively co-opted from "primitive cultures all over the world". 

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:

... is that of a truly courageous outdoor enthusiast wandering the aisles of his local Cabela's in preparation for a hunting or fishing trip with his buddies from work. 

 

To add to your point . . . 

 

I'm admittedly not much of an outdoorsman and haven't spent much time in Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop.  That said, I don't recall ever seeing a tomahawk or hatchet with a head/blade made out of stone.

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4 hours ago, dont care said:

The tomahawk is a tool I see a lot of though at hunting/fishing/outdoors stores so it’s not just a NA symbol. I never use one but I can see their uses if you wanted a light ax but didn’t want a knife or machete. And I don’t see how an arrow head is distinctly NA when primitive cultures all over the world have used flint and stone arrow heads until metal forging was discovered. 

 

Got it. We just have to convince the entire Atlanta Braves fanbase that the tomahawk chop is all about mimicking the "brave" outdoorsman gathering kindling for a campfire. Seems easy enough.

 

I suppose we'd have to call it something else, too, since "tomahawk," by definition, refers to a light ax used specifically by Native Americans.  We'll call it the "light ax chop." A little clunky, but I'm sure they'll get used to it.

 

Man, I get sometimes it's fun to have a contrarian take, but some of you go out of your way to defend the indefensible. 

 

I mean, sure, arrowheads are a thing outside of Native American culture. But are they most commonly associated with N.A. culture? Of course. It's silly to suggest otherwise, especially when it's being used in association with brands such as Chiefs and Braves. 

 

 

 

 

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Maybe we can go the other way -- keep the iconography but change the names.

 

Kansas City Merry Men would be a nice way to Robin Hood the arrowhead.

 

Atlanta Early American Tools to keep the tomahawk.

 

Chicago This Is Getting Harder Every Years to keep the sweater crest.

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19 hours ago, the admiral said:

You're wrong. Once you let the vampire into the house, it's over. The Indians changed their name and these people still complained that the name and logo were some kind of crypto-Wahoo. You can give them everything they want and they still won't be satisfied -- look how "it's not the name, it's the logo that's the problem" disappeared into thin air once they realized they had more leverage than they thought. Now even keeping the same colors is an affront.

 

Well you can only pull a pendulum so far in one direction before it starts to swing back towards the middle.

 

Funny how people don't have any issues with names like the Padres, Kings, and Royals, despite the fact that Christianity & the British monarchy have done far more damage to Indigenous culture than any pro sports name/mascot ever did.

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20 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

If I'm being honest, I didn't see there being much chance that Cleveland's MLB team was going to change colors when they dropped the Indians name. After all, Cleveland's MLB team wasn't seeking to jettison all of its history through this rebrand. Rather, it was recognizing and choosing to distance itself from the continued day-to-day use of a divisive team name and a former team logo that was so grotesquely exaggerated in its depiction of supposed characteristics that it crossed the line from caricature to racially-insensitive symbol.

That said, Cleveland's AL franchise has taken the field representing said municipality in every season of American League competition since the circuit was recognized as a major league in 1901. If I'm not mistaken, it is one of just five MLB teams - Cleveland, Boston, Chicago and Detroit in the AL, Chicago in the National League - to have taken to the field in every season of competition in their respective leagues without relocating from their original markets. Maintaining some semblance of a tie to that legacy is important.

So, how does a franchise that's committed to changing its name and logos maintain a tie to 121 seasons of history?

Well, Navy and White have been featured in Cleveland's uniforms for each and every season of the team's tenure in the American League since the circuit's elevation to Major League status in 1901. Red first appeared in the home uniforms of the Cleveland Naps in 1904, disappeared from the franchise's set until resurfacing on the home jerseys for a single year in 1928, then joined Navy and White for an unbroken 89-year run beginning in 1933.  

All of that being said, I completely understand the decision on the part of team ownership and management to maintain a color scheme of Navy, Red and White under the Cleveland Guardians brand. Said palette is as intrinsically linked to the history, identity, and legacy  of Cleveland's MLB franchise as any other aspect of the club. As such, I'd argue that those colors need not - indeed, should not - be cast aside.    
 

 

A good informative post, BiB.  You outlined the history of Cleveland baseball lore, which is impressive... But everything in your post ultimately only boils down to tradition: it's the way things have been for 120 years and so they should remain that way.

 

Obviously, tradition is a rich ingredient when it comes to brands (especially baseball), but usually there's some semblance of winning or positivity to go along with that legacy.  The Cleveland MLB identity is all nostalgia and bittersweet memories, along with a heavy dose of insensitivity to flavor... Is that actually worth saving?

 

You outlined some of the negatives in the recent past that have spanned decades, which I'd argue has removed any positivity surrounding the brand, and there's no tradition of winning either. Franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Sacramento Kings all have won championships since Cleveland won a World Series.  From this list, of the top 10 players in franchise history, only two have suited up for the team in the last 50 years. Why is any of this is worth embracing and celebrating, other than pure nostalgia?

 

Was not changing the colors really the right decision, or was it simply the easy one? It's not like changing the team name and colors would erase that tradition that you outlined.  They'd still be able to trace their history back, but they'd also be able to turn a fresh page from any of the baggage that has built up over 75 years of incompetence and poor decisions.  And if the new colors flopped, you could always go back to them later on and have a short-lived "phase," like red/green Red Sox or the blue/red White Sox. 

 

I believe that if you look at this rebranding from a distance, you'd see that there's no courage in it. There's no point where the team boldly stakes their flag in the ground and says. like-it-or-not. this is who we are now and this is who we will be in the future.  Rather, this feels like an attempt to revise their past into something that allows them to skate by and that's cowardly, IMO. 

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1 hour ago, spartacat_12 said:

Well you can only pull a pendulum so far in one direction before it starts to swing back towards the middle.

 

Funny how people don't have any issues with names like the Padres, Kings, and Royals, despite the fact that Christianity & the British monarchy have done far more damage to Indigenous culture than any pro sports name/mascot ever did.

 

And when Indigenous people decide make that argument, it'll be a conversation worth having.   They're the ones who get to decide what does the most damage.

 

Until then, it seems more designed to muddy the waters and minimize the right of native peoples to self-representation.  Like most slippery slope fallacies.

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15 minutes ago, GFB said:

The Cleveland MLB identity is all nostalgia and bittersweet memories, along with a heavy dose of insensitivity to flavor... Is that actually worth saving?

 

Was not changing the colors really the right decision, or was it simply the easy one? 

That nostalgia is Cleveland's and its fans. Why is it that you would wish to toss out everything, when the parts that didn't need to be removed still remain? If they was a green and gold team starting next year, the team knows it'll get buy in from newer fans, but what about the older fans that are still angry about a name change? There are different levels on the spectrum in regards to how they feel about that, but changing the colors was something all of the fans agreed on. So ticking off some fans, or ticking off everybody, why would you pick option B? 

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23 minutes ago, GFB said:

If we're talking about the concept of self-identity and awareness, yeah I think some level of confidence and boldness is important.

My point is that the team isn't trying to distance itself. This isn't a case where the old brand just wasn't selling or connecting so they had to go in a different direction ala the Charlotte Bobcats.

This is a case where the identity was embraced by most of the fans, but they still had to change it for reasons that transcend sports.

 

So in that situation you look at the brand. What are the problems vs what can be kept? The racist logo? Problem. Replace it. The name that's taken on negative, racial connotations? Problem, gone. Colours? Not the problem. Keep it. Style of the script? Not the problem. Keep it.

 

It's not a courageous rebrand, but it's not trying to be. It's trying to ease the fanbase into a new identity that it didn't want, but needed.

 

All things considered? It's a smart approach.

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18 minutes ago, IceCap said:

My point is that the team isn't trying to distance itself. This isn't a case where the old brand just wasn't selling or connecting so they had to go in a different direction ala the Charlotte Bobcats.

This is a case where the identity was embraced by most of the fans, but they still had to change it for reasons that transcend sports.

 

So in that situation you look at the brand. What are the problems vs what can be kept? The racist logo? Problem. Replace it. The name that's taken on negative, racial connotations? Problem, gone. Colours? Not the problem. Keep it. Style of the script? Not the problem. Keep it.

 

It's not a courageous rebrand, but it's not trying to be. It's trying to ease the fanbase into a new identity that it didn't want, but needed.

 

All things considered? It's a smart approach.

Yeah, the entire Cleveland identity and history were not the problem. They picked out the parts that were, changed them, and left the rest. Nothing wrong with that.

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21 hours ago, the admiral said:

You're wrong. Once you let the vampire into the house, it's over. The Indians changed their name and these people still complained that the name and logo were some kind of crypto-Wahoo. You can give them everything they want and they still won't be satisfied -- look how "it's not the name, it's the logo that's the problem" disappeared into thin air once they realized they had more leverage than they thought. Now even keeping the same colors is an affront.

 

That's one heck of a straw man, because "it's not the name, it's the logo that's the problem" was never a thing.  Native American groups have been protesting the names themselves for generations.

 

Native groups protested Atlanta World Series games in 1991.  What did they want?

 

Quote

(American Indian Movement) representatives are hoping to meet with Braves officials and officials for major league baseball before the World Series between the Braves and the Twins ends. Their ultimate goal is to have Atlanta change the name of its team and temper its fans, but that is a tall order.

  

There's also this AP article from 1995 (the issue obviously got a lot of attention during the Atlanta/Cleveland World Series):

 

Quote

"Most of you are going to say we ought to lighten up, or that we have more important things to deal with,″ said protester Frank Lamere, a Winnebago Indian from Oklahoma, said.  "But you cannot deal with those kinds of issues until you deal with basic human respect.″

 

Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz would not comment on the protest.

 

"I’ll talk about baseball, but I’m not into politics,″ Schuerholz said.

 

Harry Tarpley, a Braves fan from Nashville, did a Tomahawk Chop and yelled at Bellecourt as he walked by. The men engaged in a brief argument before Tarpley’s friends pulled him away.

 

"They’ve got no grievance whatsoever,″ Tarpley said. ``We have our rights just like they have theirs.″

 

American Indian groups in recent years have protested sports mascots and team nicknames connected to their heritage - Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Illinois Fighting Illini, Washington (Washington Football Team), Kansas City Chiefs.

 

Yes, many protesters singled out the Wahoo logo as particularly offensive.  Circling it out made for an effective poster.  Attacking the trademark seemed like a winnable battle.  But that doesn't mean that they ever thought Wahoo was the only issue.

 

And it's not like "names themselves are the problem" is some new part of Native American activism.  It's so old that even back in 1997 the subject had enough history to warrant an historical documentary

 

Quote

The Atlanta Braves. Kansas City Chiefs. Washington (Washington Football Team). Cleveland Indians. Native American Indian nicknames have been used in sports for years. So what's wrong?

"In Whose Honor?" takes a critical look at the long-running practice of "honoring" Native American Indians by using them as mascots and nicknames in sports. In this moving and award-winning documentary, Native Americans speak out about the hurtful and harmful effects of stereotyped sports images on both Natives and non-Natives alike.

The program follows the remarkable story of Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian and mother of two, and her impassioned transformation from a graduate student into a leader of a national movement. Along the way she is spit upon, threatened, even assaulted, yet she never wavers in her mission to protect and preserve her cultural identity for her children. Her commitment earns her enough respect from her community to be called by some "the Rosa Parks of American Indians."

"In Whose Honor?" examines the issues of racism, stereotypes, and the powerful effects of mass-media imagery. It captures the passion and resolve articulated by both sides of this contemporary controversy, and also shows the extent to which one community, that of Champaign, Illinois, will go to defend and justify its mascot.

 

The issue has been very clear for longer than most (if not all) of us on these boards have been alive.  Native American groups have been advocating for the total elimination of all native-themed names, mascots, and logos since at least the 1960s.

 

So to claim now that anti-Wahoo campaigns were some sort of Trojan Horse, a dishonest attempt to hide the true agenda of eliminating all Native mascots entirely, is  just... incorrect. 

 

21 hours ago, the admiral said:

Now even keeping the same colors is an affront.

 

[Citation Needed]

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Someone made a comment on this board a long time ago that if you replace "Indians" or "(Washington Football Team)" with "Jews," it might be easier for some to understand why many consider those monikers offensive. Many people who didn't have a problem with Chief Wahoo might if the logo was instead an exaggerated rabbi.

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On 7/27/2021 at 2:58 PM, DG_ThenNowForever said:

The Chiefs logo would be so easy to modify too. The KC contrasted a white background doesn't need to be in an arrowhead shape. I did this in Paint:

I feel like the Chiefs have the easiest time of it. Lots of cultures and professions have or had "chiefs." The only thing tying their identity to Native Americans is the arrow head logo. Get rid of the arrow, and just rock a white KC on the red helmet.

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33 minutes ago, IceCap said:

My point is that the team isn't trying to distance itself.

My point is that they really should be.

 

50 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Why is it that you would wish to toss out everything, when the parts that didn't need to be removed still remain?

Because you're not moving from something neutral to something good; you're moving from something actively bad/toxic and hoping to neutralize it. 

 

If the current team had a mark or a cap that was synonymous with Cleveland baseball, then your point would have more weight. But as of today, this is currently a desolate brand devoid of ideas and the Guardians revamp doesn't add anything at all of substance. 

 

As you stated in your post, some fans are going to be upset either way and what's a little more change on top of a much bigger change? I don't think giving fans an opportunity to fully embrace a new chapter is a bad idea. 

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1 minute ago, GFB said:

My point is that they really should be.

 

Because you're not moving from something neutral to something good; you're moving from something actively bad/toxic and hoping to neutralize it. 

 

If the current team had a mark or a cap that was synonymous with Cleveland baseball, then your point would have more weight. But as of today, this is currently a desolate brand devoid of ideas and the Guardians revamp doesn't add anything at all of substance. 

 

As you stated in your post, some fans are going to be upset either way and what's a little more change on top of a much bigger change? I don't think giving fans an opportunity to fully embrace a new chapter is a bad idea. 

And the fans said they want blue and red as part of the next chapter, so why tell them they can't have it? 

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1 minute ago, MJWalker45 said:

And the fans said they want blue and red as part of the next chapter, so why tell them they can't have it? 


honest question: did the fans say that?

 

Did the team do any kind of actual research or focus groups (not web surveys or Twitter polls) to determine what the fans wanted to retain from the old identity?

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5 minutes ago, GFB said:

My point is that they really should be.

 

Because you're not moving from something neutral to something good; you're moving from something actively bad/toxic and hoping to neutralize it. 

 

If the current team had a mark or a cap that was synonymous with Cleveland baseball, then your point would have more weight. But as of today, this is currently a desolate brand devoid of ideas and the Guardians revamp doesn't add anything at all of substance. 

 

As you stated in your post, some fans are going to be upset either way and what's a little more change on top of a much bigger change? I don't think giving fans an opportunity to fully embrace a new chapter is a bad idea. 

 

Because its absurd, and you're wrong.

In 2008 they reintroduced the block C hat for the road & alt's, and while THAT was bland imo with the jerseys, from 2008 and onwards made that their identity.

And now the Guardians  are picking up on that but now added an outline to the C and evolved the shape a bit.

And now they can have an actual logo again. It has just as much substance that a whole crazy new identity would've had. They didn't need to change the colors, its better to just smartly transition away from the previous identity where all it has left was just the "Indians" name which is now Guardians.

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