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The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
A state senator from Cincinnati wants to apply pressure to Cleveland Indians ownership to change the team's nickname and mascot, Chief Wahoo.
"The continuing use of the Indians nickname and a stereotypical Native American caricature, such as Chief Wahoo, is an affront to Native Americans," said Sen. Eric Kearney, a Democrat.
He introduced a resolution that would have the General Assembly encourage the team to "adopt a new nickname and a new mascot free of racial insensitivity."
Kearney also sent a letter to team owner Larry Dolan urging a change.
Cleveland adopted the Indians nickname in 1915 after operating under various names, including the Lake Shores and the Spiders.
The Indians have been slowly making Chief Wahoo less prominent, eliminating a 35-foot neon Wahoo sign that hung at old Cleveland Municipal Stadium and replacing the emblem with a capital "C" on some game hats.
Most of the nation's sports nickname attention has been focused on the Washington Redskins, where owner Daniel Snyder is resisting calls for the team to change a name deemed offensive to a number of Native Americans.
"A Redskin is a football player. A Redskin is our fans," Snyder recently told ESPN. "The Washington Redskins fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride. Hopefully winning."
The Redskins have appealed a June ruling by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which canceled the team's trademarks because they are "disparaging to Native Americans."
This week, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley joined those arguing that the Redskins should get a new name.
In 1997, Miami University of Ohio changed its nickname from the Redskins to the RedHawks.
"By changing its name and mascot, (Cleveland) will be making a symbolic decision that would show that much has changed since 1915," Kearney said.
Lawmakers are expected to return to action after the November election.