Court hearing on potential Ontario ban of Indians name, logo


Cardinal, a prominent indigenous activist and architect, is seeking a court ruling that would prevent the Cleveland Indians from wearing their regular jerseys, using their team name and displaying their logo when they play against the Blue Jays in Toronto this week.

However, the AP reports that Ontario Superior Court Justice Tom McEwen dismissed Cardinal's application on Monday.

Cardinal's lawyers asked the court to bar the usage of the name and logo by the team, Major League Baseball and Toronto team owner Rogers Communications, which rebroadcasts the TBS game in Canada.

Cleveland is playing the Toronto Blue Jays in Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series. The Cleveland Indians should instead only be referred to as "The Cleveland Team" going forward according to Cardinal's spokesman James Fuller.

"I am deeply disappointed in the court's ruling, however, today was a victory in that we have elevated awareness of this serious issue at a national - and even worldwide - level", said Cardinal. Had he ruled in the other direction, the Indians would have been forced to wear Spring training uniforms and hats without the Chief Wahoo logo or the team name for Games three, four and five of the ALCS. The reason the suit made it to a hearing: In Ontario, usage of the logo could allegedly be interpreted as a "Discriminatory Caricature" which may or may not violate a Provincial Human Rights Code.

Activists in Canada, like the US, have led several team names thought to be offensive to indigenous persons to be changed. The legal challenge came from Toronto activist, Douglas Cardinal. The court's decision arrives days after former Indians President (and current Blue Jays President and CEO) Mark Shapiro admitted that the Chief Wahoo logo had been personally bothersome to him when he was with the team. The Indians played in Toronto this season and the subject was never broached.

He has also filed complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

They already have various types of jerseys, she says, including ones that say Cleveland across the chest.

"You could not call a team the New York Jews".

Kent Thomson also said that Cardinal's legal application, which was filed on Friday, initially suggested that all use of the Cleveland team's name and logo - including by fans in the stands - ought to be banned, but that wasn't ultimately the case. "Cardinal has in this case". "The playoff series between the Jays and Cleveland is also significantly important to millions of passionate baseball fans across Canada", the statement read.

The Indians dropped Wahoo as their primary logo two years ago, switching to a block “C”, and reduced the logos visibility.

Cardinal's lawyer Michael Swinwood told reporters later this was just the start and his client will proceed with his human rights complaint. The use of Cleveland's name and logo constituted discrimination in the provision of a service, defining service as "professional sports entertainment in the Rogers Centre and as broadcast to a national audience", she argued, noting that the size of the audience for a Toronto-Cleveland playoffs game would give an unprecedented audience to the image.