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Cleveland Indians Fans Start Petition To Bring Back Chief Wahoo

The Cleveland Indians franchise has been phasing out its classic “Chief Wahoo” logo/symbol for years. This season, the Indians announced that the logo will be much less visible from now on, which caused a strong outcry of opposition from some Tribe fans.

Some fans took it to the extreme. It’s not uncommon to see “Save the Chief” t-shirts at games, but now it has reached the point where fans have started a petition to bring back the controversial cartoon character.

UPDATE: As of April 15th, over 1,800 fans have signed a petition to bring back their favorite symbol.

There is also a community on Facebook with nearly 13,000 members called “Keep Chief Wahoo.”

The controversial logo may not be erased from Cleveland Indians history quietly.

Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio. Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games.



  1. Tom Burnett

    April 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I used to think this way, but no longer. This is not being forced on the team by a government agency or by pressure groups threatening a boycott that could have any appreciable effect on the team’s business. We committed genocide on the Native American Indians. If they object to this, get rid of it.

    I have yet to hear a single valid argument from someone who would be harmed by this — because no one would.

  2. janet smelko

    April 14, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Thank-you @Matt Medley! I started this petition and I also have a Chief Wahoo page..and so do many others on all social media. It’s been difficult to be heard since the organization turns a deaf ear to the paying fans! The relatively, few protesters are the minority in the Native American community. Many who like my page and have signed the petition are how the majority feel.

  3. Ricky Bortolamiol

    April 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Right on Janet Smelko big fan of Chief Wahoo! keep the Chief long live Chief Wahoo. Chief Wahoo has been the franchises logo since the early 1930’s finally there’s someone out there to save Chief Wahoo.

  4. Lisa Stilla

    April 14, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I am Cherokee Indian! I have absolutely no problem with Chief Wahoo! I think it’s absolutely flattering. I am appalled at the people who are doing this, knowing not one of them is Native American. I’m tired of this so called “political correctness”. It needs to stop here! Speaking for MY heritage, we are NOT affended by Chief Wahoo!!!!

    • Jef

      April 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you Lisa Stilla 🙂

  5. Rusty Bliss

    April 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Matt, as the founder of the “Save Chief Wahoo” page, I thank you for this nice, to the point article. Join us tonight at as I join Farmer and Passo to talk about our effort to save Chief Wahoo and hopefully educate some people in that the logo is NOT racist and should not be bound by foolish PC overtones, rather simply a sports logo of a proud tradition. You’ll also notice the radio show is a Native American show of whom the majority approve and appreciate Native American culture depicted in the logos. Not just Chief Wahoo. Tune in tonight 730PM EST to hear more.

  6. Tia

    April 15, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Thanks for starting this petition. I know its a different sport but Redskins sounds and looks more offensive than the chief ever did. It has been part of Cleveland history for years so why take it away. I know many “Indians” and have a good deal of it in my blood line who do not find it offensive. I support this cause bring back and keep wahoo!!!

  7. Rusty Bliss

    April 15, 2016 at 6:02 am

    1,755 on the petition so far, crushing the original goal. Why stop here? Blow this thing up Wahoo Warriors!

  8. Bunny Nicholson

    April 15, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Chief Wahoo is Cleveland, please keep the Chief

  9. Matt Medley

    April 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I’m a diehard Tribe fan the same as all of the passionate fans who signed the petition and I’m glad to work for a website that can give a voice to fans when some of them have been drowned out by the bigger stations and networks. I’ll be wearing my Chief Wahoo hats whether the Indians erase the logo altogether or not. The Indians organization has a decision to make that is not easy, but I do feel that the fans should have their voices heard in the matter. So I’m interested to see where this goes.

  10. steve lippus

    April 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I don’t see what the big deal is ! Chief Wahoo is a honor to the native americans ! Are the Irish pissed about Notre Dame ? Are the religious pissed about the Saints and Padres? Are the Canadians pissed about the Canucks ? You’ve got Cowboys, Pirates, Vikings ! Next the Tree Huggers are going to grip about the Buckeyes ! Or animal rights about the Lions, Tigers, Bears, OMG lets not forget about Greenpeace, The Dolphins ! And so on ! GET REAL !!!

  11. Jason

    April 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I’m a New York Mets fan and I think the team bring back the chief as well. What do they have now a crappy C as their logo. I have a hat from all the major league teams. I own a Cleveland Indians hat with Chief Wahoo on it and i protest getting their new hat because I like the chief better. It’s who the team are. Not a fucking letter C. Good luck this year guys.

  12. jerry scheer

    April 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Everybody luvs the the chief it is the great symbol of the Cleveland Indians, out west where I livbe everybody luvs the chirf I even see real Indians wearing the hat keep it keep it don’t kowtow to this stupid p.c. crowd

  13. Belinda

    April 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I don’t see the chief getting saved. At some point they will have to apply for a new copyright and just like the Chiefs now face being denied for being offensive

  14. Larry Breault

    April 30, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Chief Wahoo is a sigh of respect to the Indian Nation.

  15. Karen Morris

    July 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I am a diehard Indian fan for the last 57 yrs. I no longer live in Ohio but will ALWAYS be a CHIEF WAHOO fan. I had the chance to go to the stadium to see a game last summer. Im sure glad I got a new hat with CHIEF WAHOO on it.

  16. Orlando Carabbia Jr

    March 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The “Chief WAhoo ” character has done about as much damage to Native Americans, as The “BUCKWHEAT” Character from the “Little Rascals” Tv Show has done to African Americans…cmon people there are bigger issues to contend with in this Country leave ” Chief WAHOO ” alone, keep him where he belongs, As the Mascot for the Greatest Baseball team in The Major League

  17. Rocking Horse

    July 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I am 33% Indian and find it great. It was named after a great Indian player. I am not offended.

  18. Zeke murallo

    July 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I have been a fan since 1953 and have native American heritage, keep politics out of sports!

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