Cleveland AIM to hold Opening Day Demonstration 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2021

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland American Indian Movement will conduct its 51st Opening Day Demonstration in its ongoing effort to pressure the owners of the Cleveland baseball franchise to cease using its "Indians" moniker.

On April 5, there will be a gathering of the Native community and its supporters beginning at 2:00pm EDT at Gate C (E. 9th Street and Bolivar Street) at "Progressive" Field .

For the last half-century, supporters of Cleveland American Indian Movement have met annually at the various baseball stadiums in Cleveland to raise awareness of the exploitative and racist nature of the Cleveland franchise's team name. In previous years, Cleveland AIM has also been active in calling attention to the disparaging and dehumanizing nature of Cleveland baseball's logo, Wahoo, which the franchise continues to license.

In December 2020, franchise owner Paul Dolan announced that after meeting with a small group of "Native leaders" whom he claimed spoke for the Native community in northeast Ohio, he would continue to use "Indians" name for the 2021 baseball season instead of the interim measure of calling his team "Cleveland Baseball". Local Native groups, including Cleveland American Indian Movement, called for the interim measure in July 2020 after a similar approach was adopted by Washington Football. These calls for real, substantial change from the local Native community were ignored; instead Dolan opted to take a slower "multi-phased" approach while at the same time claiming "I sincerely believe Cleveland is the most important part of our team name."

In March 2021, Dolan announced that it was likely Cleveland Baseball would continue to use the "Indians" moniker into the 2022 season. This latest statement from the franchise owner was in direct contrast to the earlier "awakening or epiphany" Dolan claimed he had around the impact of the Cleveland team name in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and his "public commitment to take a leadership role in helping address many of the social challenges affecting [the Cleveland] community and to support the underserved and under-represented groups in Greater Cleveland."

Cleveland AIM calls on the City of Cleveland to enforce its longtime ordinances which prohibit bigotry and racial hatred, namely:

§ 667.02  Pictures Inciting Race Violence
   No person, firm, corporation or association of individuals shall knowingly advertise, publish, present or exhibit in any public place in the City, any lithograph, drawing, sign, picture (motion or still), play, drama or sketch that represents any hanging, lynching or drawing of a human being that in any way incites race riot or race hatred. (Ord. No. 1333-64. Passed 5-17-65, eff. 5-20-65)

§ 667.03  Printed Matter Inciting Racial or Religious Hatred
   No person, firm, corporation or association of individuals shall knowingly print, publish, distribute or cause to be printed, published or distributed by any means, or in any manner whatsoever, any handbill, dodger, circular, booklet, pamphlet, leaflet, card, sticker, periodical literature or paper, that exposes any individual or any racial or religious group to hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy within the meaning of this section. (Ord. No. 1333-64. Passed 5-17-65, eff. 5-20-65)

§ 667.04  Societies to Promote Racial Hatred, Etc.
   No person shall organize any society which tends to promote racial hatred or religious bigotry. (Ord. No. 63410-A. Passed 9-22-24)

 

Members of the local Native community and representatives of Cleveland American Indian Movement will be on-hand to answer questions.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sundance, Executive Director
Cleveland American Indian Movement
+1 (216) 533-7423
sundance@clevelandaim.us

 

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