Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs, who just beat the 108-year-old dry spell by winning the World Series against the Cleveland Indians 8-7. The infamous “Curse of Sockalexis,” a tribute to the late Russell Means, who said the Indians would never win a World Series until they changed their name and logo - still stands.
As the Native American sports editor of ICTMN, I did not watch a single game of the World Series prior to last night’s Game 7 due to the fact that Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo logo is too much to bear. As I watched Game 7, won by the Cubs, I felt a range of emotions, but primarily embarrassment and regret.
I thought of Nataanii Means, the talented hip-hop artist and son of Russell Means who has been at the front lines of #NoDAPL, standing with so many to protect our water.
“What’s the harm?” some might ask about Chief Wahoo. Well, how many children watched the game - and accepted that racist logo as simply a sports logo, without any thought about its disregard for Native culture?
At this point, I am aware that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that though “logos are primarily a local matter,” he wanted to speak with the Indians about Chief Wahoo, and he was planning a meeting with Indians CEO Paul Dolan after the World Series.
As I sat at my computer and saw in the first inning as Dexter Fowler of the Cubs hit a lead-off home run - I thought of Sockalexis, who was treated so horribly by the news when he played for the Cleveland Spiders, he was called a savage, a wooden indian and more horrible things in the media.
And I thought of Sockalexis when Cubs catcher David Ross became the oldest player, at 39, to hit a homerun in a World Series. And yes, I became nervous when the Indians tied the game late at 6-6.
David Ross - Fox Sports Screen Grab
And yes, I was glad when the Cubs won in the 10th.
And yes, I was filled with remorse for having supported the World Series by watching last night. I realize now how much more powerful my statement as a Native sports editor could have been had I refused to watch, but my curiosity about whether the “Curse of Sockalexis” would hold true got the best of me.
I didn’t have to watch, I could have looked at Twitter and found out in two seconds what was happening in Cleveland.
Lesson learned. I will never again watch a game involving any team with a Native logo.
And though I am glad that the ‘Curse of Sockalexis” still stands. I wish I hadn’t watched it.
Actions are stronger than words.
Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling