Topps Says It Will No Longer Print Chief Wahoo Mascot
Two days before Topps made its decision, a swastika was spotted on a fan in the stands, sparking outrage on social media.
The controversial mascot of the Cleveland Indians, Chief Wahoo, is no longer welcome on the trading cards made by Topps, Major League Baseball’s sole baseball card manufacturer.
The company, which also makes football and baseballs cards, among other items–and the only company with a contract with the MLB, announced July 24 that it will remove all Chief Wahoo logos from its card designs going forward and will instead print the team’s block C. The company will also no longer print the Atlanta Braves “screaming Indian” logo, NBC Sports reported.
Tweets of appreciation directed at Topps by those who oppose Indian sports mascots soon flooded Twitter.
In April, the Cleveland Indians were allegedly in talks with the MLB concerning moving away from the team’s controversial mascot. “We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,” Pat Courtney, a spokesman for the league, told the New York Times. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.”
Amid the alleged talks, several players were seen wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys during the 2017 World Series when Cleveland played–and ultimately lost to–the Chicago Cubs.
The Cleveland ballclub does not have a comment on the matter at this time, Cleveland NBC News affiliate WKYC reported. For years, Natives and non-Natives have asked the team to change the name and drop the Chief Wahoo mascot entirely. Clashes have occurred annually outside Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians, between protesters and fans of the team.
“They need a hobby—like stringing beads,” a man said to a group of anti-Indian mascot protesters at Opening Day on April 11. Several others shouted “save the chief!” and “get over it!” cleveland.com reported.
Meanwhile, a father who took his son on July 23 to Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians, was outraged when the pair were seated behind a man with a tattoo of a Swastika on his neck.
“@indians do my kids and I have to have a swastika, and nazi train staring at us all game today?” Martin Gecovich tweeted, WKYC reported. Discussions soon erupted on social with comparisons to the name of the Cleveland team, Chief Wahoo, and the discrimination of Jewish people.
Neither the Cleveland Indians or Topps responded to Indian Country Media Network’s request for comment.