United Church Of Christ Calls Foul On Chief Wahoo, Redskins

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A national church boasting 1 million members and 5,000 congregations is calling on the Cleveland Indians to change its name and drop Chief Wahoo as its mascot.  ideastream’s Brian Bull reports:

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About 80 people marched towards Progressive Field Tuesday, carrying a petition with nearly 3,000 signatures.  A man wearing a Wahoo shirt was prodded by his friend to cross away from the oncoming group.

“This is a petition from the United Church of Christ…” said UCC organizer Linda Jamarillo, to a lone Indians representative.  The man -- who only identified himself as "Jake" -- took the documents with him into the executive offices of the team shortly after the exchange. 

Jamarillo is hopeful the Indians’ front office hears their message. 

“There’s a groundswell of religious people  -- across all faiths -- that they really need to consider that we are all about the negative stereotyping.  And 100 years is enough.”

Defenders of Indian mascots say it’s all to honor, not denigrate, Native Americans.  Indians fan, Tom Murdock – sporting a Wahoo cap -- shook his head at the crowd.

“It’s been here 100 years, and I hope they never change it," says Murdock. "I mean, it’s one of the most recognizable logos in the world.  Not just the country, the world.”

The United Church of Christ, which is based in Cleveland, has targeted teams with Native American mascots, including the Washington Redskins, since 1991.  Yesterday, the UCC passed a resolution calling on its members to boycott Redskins games and merchandise until the team changes its name and drops its logo.

The Indians spokesman did not return a request for comment regarding the UCC's petition.

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