Judge rejects bid to cancel playoff game over racist mascot

[Update] – A judge has rejected the attempt to cancel the game. He did not give a reason, the Toronto Star says.

We’re guessing tonight’s Major League Baseball playoff game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians will be played; it might already be over by the time you read this.

But indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal’s attempt to prevent it from happening because of Cleveland’s racist mascot and team name is worthy of attention in a country that has a law against such things. If nothing else, Cleveland’s success in the playoffs is coming alongside attention over its racist mascot.

“Someone like Mr. Cardinal ought to be able to watch the game, like every other person in Canada, without suffering from racial discrimination,” his attorney told a judge in Ontario Superior Court today, citing the Ontario Human Rights Code and Canada’s Human Rights Act, Macleans reports.

When asked by the presiding judge what a game between the Jays and Cleveland would look like if the injunction was granted, Jilesen said the team had spring training jerseys which did not have the “offending” team logo and name.

She also said Rogers could direct its sportscasters not to use the Cleveland team’s full name during broadcast of the game, and refrain from showing the team’s logo during broadcasts and on the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.

She added that Major League Baseball, to comply with an injunction if one was issued, would be ordered to allow the Cleveland team and Rogers to take those measures.

Jilesen noted that the legal action is not seeking to cancel the game or its broadcast, nor is it seeking to stop fans from using the team name or logo.

“The game can go ahead, the team can play, there would be no loss of enjoyment for any viewers,” she said. “And indigenous people can watch, at a minimum, with a reduced amount of discriminatory iconography.”

A lawyer for the Toronto team, which is hosting tonight’s game, said Cardinal is in China and wouldn’t be able to watch the game anyway.

The Indians didn’t comment today. Although they say they’ve relegated the mascot to secondary status, preferring a block “C” insignia instead, they’ve been wearing the hats featuring the Indian mascot throughout the playoffs.

Tonight they’ll wear the “C” version of the hat.

  • Will

    So when do we Scandinavians get to be offended by the Vikings mascot, for being portrayed as pillagers and savages???

    • Jeff

      I think you forgot the emoji at the end that shows you’re not being serious.

    • Re Vikings: First of all, you’re talking a historical context. That’s not what the Indians mascot is. It’s a depiction of a present-day race.

      This is the part where you invoke Notre Dame and the Irish.

      • Justin McKinney

        Okay, so should I be upset as a person of Irish descent that my ancestors and the Irish in general are being portrayed as “Fighting”? I completely get where you’re coming from, I am just trying to confirm that I am not the only one who sees the double standard in myself. I think that the use of racist mascots (Washington, Cleveland, North Dakota) is inappropriate, but I hadn’t ever even considered the mascot for Notre Dame.

        • The “but what about the Irish” is a familiar and tired false equivalency. Especially if you’re not a leprechaun.

          • Justin McKinney

            Ah, that makes more sense. And, since I am most definitely not a leprechaun, I am most definitely not wound up about Notre Dame. I have enough on my hands rooting for the Gophers (one of the least fierce mascots around, for the record).

          • Fred, Just Fred

            The “but what about the Irish” is a familiar and tired false equivalency.
            Well, if you say so, Bob, that’s different.

            Especially if you’re not a leprechaun.
            OK, we need a call on the field here.

            Are Indians that are not smiling Chiefs proscribed from joining in the outrage?

      • Will

        I am curious what are the requirements for a mascot to be offensive/racist and how are the mascots Vikings, Indians and Fighting Irish different. As a person who is Danish, Cherokee and Irish I am curious how certain mascots require that we are offended and others are just fine.

        • Nobody requires you to be offended by Chief Wahoo any more than you’re required to be offended by Little Black Sambo.

          You either are or you aren’t.

          • Will

            I understand why Chief Wahoo would be offensive but I see the same characteristics of offensiveness in Viktor the Viking or that feisty leprechaun.

          • Jerry

            But there is a big difference between making a caricature of yourself and making a caricature of someone else.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            I never depict myself or my family as cartoon characters with tiny legs and elongated arms.

          • Will

            As a person of native American and European descent I have no idea how a line can be drawn between “yourself” when many of us are mixed race. Scandinavians are a minority here (most people are of German, Irish and English descent in Minnesota)… choosing a Viking would qualify as “making a caricature of someone else”. Is this really about skin color rather than rational thought?

          • Jerry

            Although it is from a limited sample size, I have never met any Scandinavian who has been genuinely offended by Viktor, instead of offended for arguements sake. And although not everyone of native descent is offended by Wahoo, clearly some are.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            genuinely offended by Viktor, instead of offended for arguements sake..

            And who makes that distinction for you; you?

          • I suspect not everyone is offended by Little Black Sambo or blackface in minstrel shows in 2016 either, and I suspect the same people who aren’t offended by it will use the Notre Dame and Vikings mascots as proof. Why? Because they know there’s really no defensible position to take on the racist nature of Little Black Sambo just as in 2016 there’s no defensible position to take that the caricature of Chief Wahoo is a racist symbol. But they’ll try anyway because that’s how racism exists in the first place.

            The further they stray from the logo itself in order to illogically defend it, the more clear it is that their argument falls to simple distraction.

            Racists almost always defend their racism by saying “I’m not a racist.” But they — the sons of John C Calhoun — almost always are.

            They are in this case too and it’s foolish to waste time waiting for them to recognize that, yes, they are racist and, as such, their opinions are irrelevant to decency.

            We don’t need the permission of racists to eliminate racist symbols.

          • Will

            Here’s the issue, I do think Sambo is a racist symbol and I think Wahoo as the mascot or image is a somewhat racist symbol as does society in 2016. My point to bring up Viktor or the Fighting Irish leprechaun isn’t to excuse other racist symbols it is to get people to understand the intellectual inconsistencies in suggesting one symbol is racist and another isn’t. I enjoy pointing out logical inconsistencies and this is clearly one of them, which is evident by the desperate finger pointing and accusations of “RACIST” from the most recent comment. We should be treating all mascots that portray an actual human being the same way, the skin color of the mascot should be irrelevant. I’d like to see surveys from Irish Americans as well as the actual people who live in Ireland to find out if some of them view the “fighting Irish” image as s leprechaun as offensive or not or hear some critiques of that symbol. Also, I’d like to see the same done with Scandinavian Americans and hear the actual input from those people who actually live in Scandinavia, how do they view Viktor? Do they care? Is it offensive? Just because the mascots represent a small portion of a very large “white” category doesn’t mean we can push aside the offensiveness (or inoffensiveness) of that imagery…equal treatment by all involved. Apparently demanding equality is now racism…amazing.

          • It’s only intellectually inconsistent if you believe it is equivalent. It is not equivalent.

            Now, if you find Irish who really ARE offended by the Notre Dame logo or by the Vikings — as opposed to just pretending they are because they don’t want to directly address whether Chief Wahoo is racist –, then we have something to talk about intellectually.

            But if the point is — and historically it is — that Native Americans should not be aggrieved by a racist depiction of them because those with Norwegian heritage are not put upon by the Viktor the Viking, well that’s another discussion entirely. And that is white privilege at work, not intellectual inconstency. That’s white America determining how they feel about images of being white is how non-white American should feel about racist images of being non-white.

            From an intellectual perspective, people living as white Americans are really REALLY bad at understanding this.

          • Will

            I am raising the question that no one is asking and no one is allowed to ask because words like “racist” and “white privilege” are trotted out when someone suggests that maybe we should look at images of Vikings and the Irish the same way we look at images of native people as used in sports. Right now in our society we cannot view those images the same way because, as what happened here, someone makes accusations and suggests that those asking questions should “shut up and sit down”. I seem to remember a time when people would make the same argument against removing the Redskins name as well as the Indian mascot Wahoo, “if you find Irish who really ARE offended by the Notre Dame logo or by the Vikings”…yep most people would say the same thing years ago “if you find a majority of native peoples who are offended” then we can do something about it. Well society has changed and it has almost completely changed from the perspective of “protected classes” instead of granting that ability to be offended or outraged to certain groups and the majority group is told to “sit down and shut up” to invalidate their points and perspectives. We must hold all human mascots to the same standards…if the NCAA requires permission to use a group of people then they must poll the Irish in Ireland as well as Irish Americans about the usage of “Fighting Irish”. I would suggest we do the same with the Vikings name and actually ask people, we don’t know until we ask and suggesting we already know or we’ve asked friends without doing a scientific poll. BTW, how do you feel about this image of the “Caucasians” is it an ironic spin on the “Indians” imagery? Is it offensive? Is it funny or ironic? Should we ban people from using it even if they’re trying to make a statement about our society?


          • So, Will, do you believe the Wahoo is a racist caricature?

            ____ Yes ____ No

            Everything else is irrelevant.

          • Will

            Yes in 2016, much like Viktor and the fighting Irish images will be viewed in the future…that same image of Wahoo wouldn’t be offensive or racist a decade or two ago… remember Major League?

          • Good. There’s agreement then . Wahoo is racist.

          • Will

            Yes we agree on that, but I would just add by that same logic Viktor and the leprechaun would also be offensive to some people of European descent.

          • They should step forward. I’d like to hear from them.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            What you are detecting is the result of a relentless barrage of leftist indoctrination on the public, especially on people born after say, 1990.

            Many young people really do not see that marginalizing white people is just as racist as doing it to anyone of any other skin color. To them, bashing white people, men especially, is not wrong; it’s their duty. Logic and reason have not been lost to them, they were never taught it in the first place. It is the same process, albeit with a slightly different dogma, that has black Americans supporting a political ideology that is responsible for the near complete destruction of their families over the past 50 years.

            Older leftists, people like Bob, may have realized what was going on, and some may even have objected at some point. But their will to resist the corrosive consequences of a belief system based upon illogic and lies, while continuing to identify with the people that support it, has long since dried up.

            That’s why, in the face of the obvious fact that if making a caricature of one group of people is wrong, it’s just as wrong to do it to any other group, he will hide behind the gossamer thin excuse of non-equivalence.

          • I, for one, would be delighted to join the movement to rid the world of the Leprechaun or Viktor the Viking by the aggrieved white people whose cause you champion, except, of course, there is no such movement. It only exists in the minds of those who are unwilling or unable to concede the racist nature of Chief Wahoo and do so proudly with the not-terribly-subtle white supremacist overtones.

            But, yes, you’re right. Everyone to the left of racists are leftist by definition. Can’t argue with that.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            You’d be delighted to join a movement, whose aim would be completely irrelevant, nay counter-productive, if you believed 1/2 of what you just spent several hours arguing. Do tell.

            You never asked me whether I thought Wahoo was a racist image, but I’ll tell you anyway; it is just exactly as racist as the Vikings or ND mascot is. The fact that no one is complaining has no bearing on whether it unfairly, or untruthfully characterizes a group of people by their race or culture. If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it not make any noise?

            Likewise, denigrating a person or group of people be they privileged or powerless, for immutable traits is ignorance and bigotry. Period.

            You’re not an ignorant fellow Bob. But with all due respect, this excersize has not been one of your better efforts. Maybe it’s the strain of this campaign cycle, I dunno.

          • You are far more skilled than I in the verbal gymnastics necessary to avoid answering a simple question but that doesn’t make the question disappear.

            Is Chief Wahoo a racist caricature?

            ____ Yes ____ No

          • Fred, Just Fred

            I answered the question, Bob. Caricatures of people or groups of people based upon their race or ethnic culture are inherently racist, Q.E.D. Wahoo qualifies.

          • Will

            Would you accept a similar argument made by someone supporting Wahoo?

          • Jerry

            If Native Americans did not find him offensive, it would not be my right to tell them they are wrong, just like it is not my right to tell them to not be offended.

          • The people who support Wahoo and know something about the longstanding debate do so almost exclusively on the basis of history. They used to say it “honored” a former player but even they don’t bother with that one anymore since it’s been thoroughly disproven.

            But it’s their logo and their heritage, as they see it. Kind of like the Confederate flag.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            But, if you’re a person of Irish heritage that is offended by the Notre Dame logo, your options are sit down and shut up or shut up and sit down, because WHITE.

          • The Notre Dame logo is a leprechaun. Leprechauns are not real. Chief Wahoo is caricature of an actual race that exists in the here and now.

            But, yeah, if you’re still using the tired and false equivalence of the Notre Dame in order not to acknowledge what is clearly a racist symbol, then, yeah, your suggestion of sitting down and shutting up isn’t a bad one.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            Thanks for the leftysplaining, but it’s not going to fly.

            The ND logo doesn’t say “The Fightin’ Leprechauns”, it says “The Fighting Irish”. Irish is a race.

            Now, since Ireland has been the subject of conquest and brutal domination since the 12th Century, I guess you could say the Irish have known their share of fighting, for their lives that is. But I know a lot of Irish people, I am one; never met any Irish with tiny legs and elongated arms.

            Further, unless I’m mistaken, and I’m not, the use of cultural icons by, well anyone, is called “cultural appropriation” in leftist outrage circles…it’s not to be tolerated, period. You can’t wear an Indian head dress, or a sombrero, or a Hmong hat unless you are a born member of those cultures, because, raciss; right?

            And it doesn’t matter if that ND caricature offends me or my family and Irish friends or not. The issue is, yet again, leftist hypocrisy and faux outrage. We see through it.

          • Proven beyond the shadow of the doubt with geometric logic.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            And, in the absence of a logical response, side stepped with predictable denial.

        • Jerry

          For one thing, someone has to be actually offended, not hypothetically offended.

          • Inevitably this discussion always leads to displays of white privilege where a point isn’t valid until the whites or majority say it is.

    • Jerry

      False equivalency is false

    • Considering the “mascot” has horns and actual Vikings never wore those…

    • Micah

      This reeks of “All Lives Matter”….

  • Matt Black

    TBS is using the C logo up in the scorebox but it looks like they changed their mind on the hats. I wonder why the change.

    • Probably because they haven’t lost a game in the postseason yet and they’re superstitious about changing anything now. Doesn’t really feel like they’re “phasing it out” though, huh?

  • wjc

    I can understand the problem with the logo (it’s hideous), but why is there an issue with the name “Indians”? My understanding is that the tribes generally prefer it to other names.

  • Mike Worcester

    The Canadian government has taken a very different approach to how it relates to its indigenous populations. For starters, they don’t use the term “Indians”, they use First Nations or Indigenous populations. (They also don’t use a term like Native Canadians).

  • Jack Ungerleider

    It seems there is a perfectly good team name that was associated with the city of Cleveland for a short period of time that might work for as the name for the baseball team, the Barons. Then the only people who might be offended are European lesser nobility.