Created on Friday, 04 April 2014 Written by TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carrying hand-painted signs that read, "We Are Not Honored," and "Our Children Are Not Mascots," a small group of Native Americans demonstrated against the Indians' use of their smiling, Chief Wahoo logo before the team's home opener at Progressive Field.
Jerald Beckman holds up a sign in protest of the use of Chief Wahoo by the Cleveland Indians before a baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The protesters, who have been gathering on opening day outside the ballpark's entrances for years, stayed behind barricades as Indians fans, many of them wearing the red-faced logo, filed in for Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins.
Organizers of the protest feel they're gaining support because of the growing national debate over sports mascots.
Robert Roche, the executive director of the American Indian Education Center, says the team should abolish the logo permanently because it "mocks us as a race of people."
The Indians have made Chief Wahoo less visible in recent years, even adding a "Block C" logo. Roche, though, said the team's efforts to minimize Chief Wahoo "are a facade."