How Political Correctness Could Destroy Sports for Fans

MLB Hall of Fame is now censoring the logos players can use when they're honored for their athletic accomplishments

Only seven players in Major League Baseball history have ever trumped the 612 home runs Jim Thome hit over the course of his 22-season professional career. And though Thome blasted the majority of those home runs during his 13 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Thome cannot have the Chief Wahoo logo of the Indians appear on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Last week, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the Indians slugger will instead need to use a “C” for Cleveland. This move establishes that going forward, no  former Indians player will be allowed to wear or use the Chief Wahoo logo.

Remember, Major League Baseball decided the Indians should get rid of their Native American logo earlier this year — and it will be gone by the start of the 2019 season. The league said the logo was “offensive.” Yet a 2016 poll done by The Washington Post concluded that nine out of 10 Native Americans were not bothered by the name or logo of the Washington Redskins  — a sports team that faces controversy similar to that of the Cleveland Indians — and that seven out of 10 people were not bothered by Native American images overall in sports logos.

Still, in the name of political correctness, the Hall of Fame decided to prevent Thome from wearing the cap he actually wore during his playing days when he is honored.

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This censorship of Chief Wahoo is far from the only instance in which political correctness has infected the sports world these days. This is an era in which players receive five-game suspensions for jokingly slanting their eyes; Curt Schilling can’t get into the Hall of Fame because he’s conservative; and disrespecting the American flag is practically the hip trend among pro athletes.

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Just this month, the Holy Cross Crusaders (a Catholic Division 1 college in Worcester, Massachusetts) announced that their school would be getting rid of its Christian knight sports logo and mascot because the Crusades — which occurred about 1,000 years ago — were “violent.”

By becoming too politically correct, these sports teams may lose a lot more fans than they would gain by sticking to PC culture.

In 2017, Rasmussen Reports conducted a survey in which over 80 percent of respondents thought it was more important for the United States to guarantee free speech and expression instead of making sure nothing is done to offend other nations and cultures.

That should let sports teams and leagues know where their priorities should lie if they want to build up their fan bases — not alienate them.

(photo credit, homepage image: Chief Wahoo, CC BY 2.0, by Erik Drost; photo credit, article image: Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto BluejaysCC BY 2.0, by Erik Drost)

Tom Joyce
meet the author

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.

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