The Cleveland Plain Dealer has come to its senses and for the first time is calling for the Cleveland Indians to once and for all completely abandon the racially offensive Chief Wahoo.
Many fans don't see [getting rid of Wahoo] that way. They view Wahoo through the lens of their youth, when they learned to embrace Wahoo the way they did Bugs Bunny, as loveable and funny, and before they knew anything about racial stereotypes.
That's why benching Wahoo is so difficult for them. It implies that their affection for Wahoo was somehow impure. It taints their nostalgia. It creates a break from the past. For many, getting rid of Wahoo means giving into excessive political correctness.
It's why this editorial board has hesitated in the past to take a position.
This continued refusal to give up their beloved icon is a palpable manifestation of the negative stereotype the world has about Cleveland. Cleveland is full of the fat, the slow-witted and the culturally-retarded. Oh no? Then how about doing something humanly decent for a change. Prove me otherwise, and I would be glad to change my mind. By the looks of the poll running on the news paper website, public opinion is still in the garbage-choked gutter by a nearly 2:1 margin.
The team should do it now. Take the heat. Deal with the backlash. Move on. It can be done thoughtfully, by simply acknowledging the mixed emotions of all involved.
Then the city and the team can send a message to the world that it gets it. And Indians fans, all of them, can root for the team, unconditionally.
Yes, but it's Cleveland.
I know I won't be leaving here