ESPN host sparks conversation on racism in sports with 'Caucasian' shirt
'The reason they won't get rid of Chief Wahoo is just completely indefensible,' says Bomani Jones
ESPN host Bomani Jones sparked a conversation on racism in sports this week by wearing a shirt with a play on the Cleveland Indians logo. He was guest hosting the program Mike and Mike.
The shirt, designed by Shelf Life Clothing, says "Caucasians" and the mascot included looks like Chief Wahoo, but with paler skin and a dollar sign replacing the feather.
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Over the course of the show, people took to social media to write about Jones' choice of shirt.
"If you are offended by the shirt, you must be offended by the Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo."... <a href="https://t.co/4SaBHzLvs6">https://t.co/4SaBHzLvs6</a>—@ShelfLifeCC
If you're offended by the shirt <a href="https://twitter.com/bomani_jones">@bomani_jones</a> wore imagine how Native Americans feel w/ Chief Wahoo on shirts, hats. <a href="https://t.co/x5ifwwo3K5">https://t.co/x5ifwwo3K5</a>—@SimonMoyaSmith
"I like this shirt, I think it's funny, it's just like the Cleveland Indian shirt … with just one small change," said Jones.
But host Molly Qerim further questioned Jones, suggesting that he wore the shirt to make a statement.
"The reason they won't get rid of Chief Wahoo is just completely indefensible, it is 'cause they can still sell stuff," said Jones.
"To have a problem with the logo of this, would be to have a problem with the Indians. But if you're quiet about the Indians, and you got something to say about my shirt, I think it's time for introspection, I think that's a fair thing to ask."
Two years ago the Cleveland Indians dropped Chief Wahoo as their primary logo, but it remains on caps and jersey sleeves. In an opinion piece written for CBC at the time, Ian Campeau writes, "We're still being stereotyped and labelled as "Indians" by the organization. They're still exploiting us for non-indigenous profit by using the name. It's still robbing us of our individual nationhood."
The shirt has previously sparked a conversation on race, when Campeau, a member of A Tribe Called Red', wore the shirt in a promotional band photograph.