Bomani Jones Wore a Shirt Mocking the Cleveland Indians Logo on TV — Here's What Happened
When it came to making a social statement about racism, ESPN host Bomani Jones didn't even have to open his mouth.
On Thursday morning, Bomani filled in for Mike Golic on Mike & Mike wearing a T-shirt with graphic that imitated the highly contentious logo of the MLB's Cleveland Indians — but in place of "Indians" was the word "Caucasians." And in place of the Major League team's cartoony "Red Indian"-style Chief Wahoo mascot with a feather headdress was a white guy with a dollar sign over his head.
And white Twitter got pissed. Or at least some factions did.
To which Bomani quipped:
There was also a swell of support for Bomani's bold sartorial move — accompanied by criticism and proverbial eye-rolling at those who took umbrage at the logo:
The consequences of racist mascots like Chief Wahoo have major social implications, Mic's Zak Cheney-Rice argued last year.
"The detrimental effect of treating Native Americans like mascots isn't just a matter of hurt feelings ... Native youth already face among the highest rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide in the nation, the direct result of a history of state-sanctioned violence, endemic poverty and systemic racism," Cheney-Rice wrote. He went on to cite a 2014 report from the Center for American Progress that said such imagery damages the mental health and self esteem of Native American Youth.
Despite loud calls for a name and logo change, the franchise, much like its NFL counterpart the Washington Redskins, has resisted. Last week team owner Paul Dolan suggested the Indians are moving away from the Chief Wahoo era, telling the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "We have minimized the use of [the logo] and we'll continue to do what we think is appropriate." (Fans, however, did not seem to get the memo.)
But until professional sports rids itself entirely of racist imagery, the cries will only grow louder.