Cleveland council members speak out against Wahoo - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Cleveland council members speak out against Wahoo

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Councilman Reed at Cleveland City Council meeting. Councilman Reed at Cleveland City Council meeting.
Chief Wahoo debate heats up. Chief Wahoo debate heats up.

With Opening Day comes the renewed debate over the Indians logo, Chief Wahoo.

The subject came up during Monday's Cleveland City Council meeting and Councilman Zack Reed didn't mince words.

He said it's time to get rid of the Chief Wahoo logo, which he considers insensitive and racist, and he wasn't the only council member to say it's time for Wahoo to go.

"I'm not saying get rid of it right now. I'm not saying get rid of it this year," Reed said. "But I'm saying let's put a timetable on saying that enough is enough."

Councilman Reed said the grinning, red-faced image of Chief Wahoo hurts the image of the city of Cleveland.

With a new baseball season set to begin this week, Reed wants the team's owners to phase out Wahoo.

"...because we don't want to show Cleveland in this bad light, which they are doing," Reed said. "We don't want to be insensitive to the Native Americans any longer."

With members of the Cleveland American Indian Movement present in council chambers, two other council members, Jeff Johnson and Brian Cummins, spoke out against the Wahoo logo.

"Even if they don't find it insensitive, I do," Johnson said. "And all I can do is keep fighting for the rights of fairness and that's why I think it's time to retire Chief Wahoo. Thank you."

"It is way past time for it to be retired," Cummins said.

The Indians play their home opener at Progressive Field on Friday.

Demontrators say two hours before the game, there will be groups of Native Americans and others gathered to protest the use of the name "Indians" and the Chief Wahoo logo.

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