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ESPN Invites Wrath of Woke Gods, Mistakenly Refers to Cleveland Guardians as ‘Indians’ in Onscreen Graphic



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Friday evening, some nameless ESPN wonk who might be out of a job today put onscreen a graphic advertising Saturday’s American League Wild Card game, which read, “Rays vs. Indians, Tomorrow, Noon ET on ESPN 2.”

Utterly unremarkable, except for the fact that there is no Major League Baseball team called the Indians. After the 2021 season, the Cleveland Indians bowed to the woke mob and rebranded themselves the Cleveland Guardians, exchanging their tribute to the valor and might of Native Americans for homage to a couple of statues on a highway bridge.

Oddly enough, the recrudescence of the despised “Indians” name did not cause widespread trauma. There were no reports Saturday evening or Sunday of PTSD or any other psychological ailments resulting from ESPN’s egregious relapse into the heinous, racist practice of reducing the Native American community to mascots. Emergency rooms nationwide were not filled with distraught baseball fans howling in fear at the prospect of the return of the resolutely grinning visage of Chief Wahoo. The only people who noticed were those who thought the Cleveland baseball team was stupid and cowardly to drop its 106-year-old name at the behest of Leftists who probably don’t watch baseball anyway. In this is a lesson, but no one is likely to learn it.

In making the name change, the team owners were bowing to the self-appointed guardians of acceptable opinion, and so in that sense the team’s new name is fitting. The idea that a baseball team named “Indians” is somehow demeaning to Native Americans is preposterous on its face; sports teams don’t name themselves after things they despise, but after things they admire, whose qualities they wish to emulate. In a sane society, the Indians and Redskins and all the rest would have been praised for honoring a group of people that has often been genuinely marginalized. But ours is not a sane society.

The reality is that the Cleveland Indians were not so named to mock Native Americans. They were named in honor of Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian from Maine who hit .338 in 66 games for the old National League Cleveland Spiders in 1897. Sockalexis died of tuberculosis in 1913 at the age of 42. Two years later, the Cleveland team began calling itself the Indians. The Society for American Baseball Research notes that in January 1915, Cleveland team owner Charles Somers, “perhaps recalling the all-too-brief period of excitement that Louis Sockalexis had brought to Cleveland in 1897, dubbed his team the Indians.”, a site dedicated to the memory of Louis Sockalexis, is adamant, saying flatly that Sockalexis “most certainly did inspire the Cleveland Indians’ nickname.”

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