Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Activist Still Wants to Proceed with Cleveland Indians Complaint

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Activist Still Wants to Proceed with Cleveland Indians Complaint

Article excerpt

Activist still wants to proceed with Cleveland Indians complaint

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An Indigenous activist says he'd like to go ahead with human rights complaints against the Cleveland Indians despite a recent announcement that the baseball team would be changing its controversial logo.

Douglas Cardinal says the decision to remove the image of the fictional Chief Wahoo from a team logo is a step in the right direction, but argues the team's name is still racist and demeaning to Indigenous people.

The Ontario-based architect has filed human rights complaints both at the federal and provincial level in a bid to prevent the team from using either its name or the Wahoo logo while playing baseball games in Canada.

Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians team and Rogers Communications, all of which were named in the initial complaints, have been fighting to get the cases quashed.

Cardinal says he still hopes to press ahead with his complaints despite the fact that Chief Wahoo will no longer appear on team caps or shirts starting in 2019.

Major League Baseball says the decision to scrap the red-skinned, feather-wearing cartoon image came from the league's commitment to "building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game."

Cardinal credits the league for making the right decision, but says it's still important to fight against the Cleveland team's name.

"You have to watch it on TV and go to the sports arena and be demeaned to," Cardinal said of the team name. "We just want to get rid of the logo, the name and everything, the whole reference."

Law firm Lenczner Slaght, which is shepherding Cardinal's complaints through various tribunal processes, issued a statement celebrating Major League Baseball's decision to do away with the Chief Wahoo image.

But lawyer Monique Jilesen said the firm is still considering "all the implications" of the decision for their case, adding lawyers will be discussing the situation with Cardinal in the coming days.

Cardinal first filed a complaint against the team in October 2016 at the height of a playoff series that pitted the Indians against the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada's sole MLB team. …

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