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The Cleveland Baseball Team Is Already Making A Big Mess Of Their Own Name Change

Fans hold up a Chief Wahoo sign at a Cleveland baseball game.
Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images

One would hope that the Cleveland Baseball Team’s attempt at a less racist rebranding would be less suggestive of a rotten, terminally cynical corporate culture than everything that came before that effort. Before now, the team was holding onto an insensitive nickname and a hideous logo, and yet they’ve found a way to turn the very act of being rid of those things into a dragged-out festival of brutal self-injury.

The world learned three things today, as the organization rolled out the details of its rebranding. First, it learned that the people in charge of the Cleveland Baseball Team do not know how to spell “Cleveland”:

Second: Controlling owner Paul Dolan, in brainstorming new names for the team, is almost literally turning the big dial that says “RACISM” and waiting to see how the crowd reacts:

Third, and most importantly: Not only is the organization putting off the formal rebranding for more than a year, but they plan to continue to use and sell merchandise featuring both the “Indians” name and the Chief Wahoo logo. The explanation for this baffling and indefensible decision has to do with “honoring [their] past.” But not to worry: The team plans to use the proceeds from sales of shirts, hats, and jackets featuring a racist caricature of a Native American man to benefit Native Americans.

So, ah, if Dolan and the organization believe that the name is offensive and should change, but it’s not offensive enough to change immediately and can still be sold on merch … do they actually believe the name is offensive?