TORONTO — An Ontario judge has squashed an attempt to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and “Chief Wahoo” logo during Monday’s night playoff game in Toronto.
The legal challenge by indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal came hours before the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
The long-standing logo, which appears on some team caps and jerseys, depicts a grinning, red-faced cartoon with a feather headband.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Tom McEwen dismissed the application and said he would give reasons at a later date.
Judge denies Douglas Cardinal's request, Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo free to play tonight in full regalia.
— Joseph Brean (@JosephBrean) October 17, 2016
The Toronto court heard arguments Monday on an attempt to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and logo in Ontario.
MLB released some statements on the lawsuit and the ruling on Monday.
This is what the league had to say after the ruling:
“We are pleased with the judge’s ruling and will continue focusing on an exciting Postseason.”
They released this statement earlier in the day:
“Major League Baseball appreciates the concerns of those that find the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians to be offensive. We would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation. Given the demands for completing the League Championship Series in a timely manner, MLB will defend Cleveland’s right to use their name that has been in existence for more than 100 years.”
Cardinal released the following statement as well:
I am deeply disappointed in the court’s ruling, however, today was a victory in that we have elevated awareness of this serious issue at a national — and even international — level.
We had hoped the court would recognize the immediate harm that the Cleveland baseball team racist’s [sic] name and logo would cause, especially since the team has already demonstrated its ability to wear a jersey without an offensive name and mascot. That this kind of discrimination is not a violation of human rights underscores the challenge Indigenous Persons of North America continue to face.
I hope that, one day, the Cleveland team’s ownership will realize that its racist name and logo has got to go – entirely. Until then, we will continue to argue our case before the appropriate legal authorities, and call upon everyone who supports our cause for equality to stand with us and express their support for the Indigenous Persons of North America. #NotYourMascot