Is It Really “just a Logo”?


By: Natalia Herran

The decision of Ontario judge Thomas McEwen to not ban the use of Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo logo during this year’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) games, hosted at the Rogers Centre, came with a number of explanations that are both reasonable and disappointing.

Activist Douglas Cardinal applied for an injunction that called for the prohibition of the team’s name and logo, as well as a ban on a number of broadcasters like Rogers and MLB Network from showing the logo and refraining from referring to the team by their name. McEwen concluded that allowing the ban in such an unorganized manner would cause chaos, and that carrying it out successfully would be close to impossible. The team would be forced to wear their spring jerseys, but the jumbotron would still have to be turned off as it could easily catch a glimpse of a Cleveland fan wearing the logo. This would disrupt the game’s broadcast and in the process punish millions of baseball fans—Jays fans included.

Despite a counter attack by Cleveland’s lawyers, this is not something that has just been recently upsetting people. Announcer Jerry Howarth has not used Cleveland’s name during his broadcasts since the 1992 World Series simply because he received a letter from a fan that explained to him how unsettling it was to not be able to get through a simple game of baseball without a reminder of the general disregard that society has for their culture. I understand that this seems like a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but it is precisely the sheer amount of those small inconveniences and harmless comments that add up to become a bigger issue than it appears to be.

I choose to remind myself that even though it’s not happening to me, it could be and certainly in that instance it wouldn’t seem to be something as simple as “just a joke” or “just a logo.” I shouldn’t have to explain that just because certain things are not offensive to my existence, that they’re still valid and need to be changed. We have a long way to go as a society, even though it may not always seem as such. There’s always going to be people who are hell bent on trying to make this world a better place, and while I can appreciate that, you might be like me—way too pessimistic to join them. However, I think it’s pretty reasonable to ask that we all do the bare minimum and act like human beings towards one another. We just have to start with the easy things, the “simple” things that are not fundamentally difficult to fix—like changing a team’s logo. It’s a step towards making life just a little bit easier for someone else. Even if it’s not you.

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