Judge: Cleveland Indians Can Keep Name in Canada

Activist tried to block 'racist' name, mascot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2016 12:11 AM CDT
Judge: Cleveland Indians Can Keep Name in Canada
Cleveland Indians player Andrew Miller (24) celebrates his team's victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of ALCS baseball action in Toronto on Monday.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Cleveland Indians were allowed to play—and win—under their usual name in Toronto Monday night after a Canadian judge rejected an attempt to block the use of the Indians name and the Chief Wahoo mascot. Indigenous activist and prominent architect Douglas Cardinal had sought an injunction against what he called a racist and discriminatory name and logo, which would have required the American team to play the Toronto Blue Jays as "the Cleveland team," reports the BBC. The judge ruled against Cardinal just hours before the Indians played the Blue Jays in Game 3 of the ALCS.

An attorney for Cardinal told the court that he was trying to block the name, not the game. "It's the use of the name 'Indians' when it does not belong to you," she says, per the National Post. "That's taking a culture and belittling it —more than belittling it, using it for commercial purpose and potentially inciting racism." She adds: "There would be no debate that you could not call a team the New York Jews." A lawyer for Major League Baseball argued that the word "Indians" is not derogatory, comparing the team name to the Vancouver Canucks or Montreal Canadiens. The Indians went on to win 4-2, taking a three-game lead in the best-of-seven series. (More Cleveland Indians stories.)

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