FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Dignity over Degradation
An Open Letter to the Cleveland Indians
By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
I would like to personally commend and thank The Cleveland Indians for your courageous decision to remove "Chief Wahoo," the bright red caricature of a Native American the team uses as a logo, from players’ caps and uniforms starting in 2019. The Cleveland baseball team has rightly recognized that Native Americans do not deserve to be denigrated as cartoon mascots.
The team has chosen DIGNITY over DEGRADATION.
I also applaud the commitment of Major League Baseball Commissioner, Mr. Rob Manfred, who has shared with me a genuine desire to accomplish the goal of diversity and inclusion within his sport. Commissioner Manfred’s great sense of integrity and leadership has influenced the Cleveland ballclub to embrace the reality that its logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball.
This image and other divisive sports symbols have been publicly protested as being outdated, offensive and racist. Several college teams have adjusted their logos and nicknames in order to remove the stigma of ignorance and disrespect. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and I would hope and encourage the Washington NFL team would soon follow in similar fashion and revamp its name and logo to present an appropriate image of honor and respect for Native people.
It is our sincere desire – and mission – that our entire nation will take these cues from the sports world and move forward with a greater sense of unity, humility and kindness toward our fellow humans of all races, creeds, backgrounds and ethnicities. Our country is always at its best when we survive together and not struggle apart, working, serving and living harmoniously as One Nation under God.
Again, we extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball for this powerful statement of progress and humanity. Together, we will continue to KEEP HOPE ALIVE.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Founder and President
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Dr. Joseph Bryant, Jr.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizationshe founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
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