By Melissa Krikke, Skedline.com
Everyone brought their team today – well their A Team to court that is.
Less than three hours before the ALCS Game 3 at the Rogers Centre, an Ontario Superior Court judge has turned down an injunction asking for a ban on the use of Cleveland baseball team’s name and logo.
Anishinaabe elder Douglas Cardinal brought forward the emergency motion to ban the use of the Cleveland Indians’ name and logo in tonight’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Justice Thomas McEwen denied the request.
Cardinal, a prominent Canadian architect, states in his motion the Cleveland Indians’ branding, their name and the logo ‘Chief Wahoo,’ is racist and discriminatory. His motion was filed Friday after it became clear last week the Blue Jays would go head to head with the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS playoff series.
Because the third game is today in Toronto, Cardinal asked for an immediate decision, formally known as an interim injunction
Cardinal’s motion, which also includes two human rights complaints, is against Rogers Communications — who own the Rogers Centre, and will broadcast the game — Major League Baseball (MLB), and the Cleveland Indians Baseball Company Limited Partnership.
The motion will be heard in two separate human rights complaints, one in Ontario and one federally.
The motion asked the court to restrain the respondents from “displaying, broadcasting, communicating or otherwise disseminating images, representations, depictions or descriptions” of the team’s name, the Cleveland Indians, and the graphic image known as the ‘Chief Wahoo’ logo.
Cardinal argued the name and logo constitutes discrimination on the grounds of “race, ancestry, colour, ethnic and national origin in the offering of services,” contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Cardinal also argued that the name and logo constitutes harassment under the Federal Act.
Cardinal’s lawyer Monique Jilesen argued four major points in court. The Cleveland team should not wear their jersey with the name, or the logo during the game. Major League Baseball should not prevent the team from wearing an alternate jersey. Rogers Communications should not display the logo or name on the Jumbotron in the stadium, and should not reference the name or logo during commentary on Sportsnet. The decision would not apply to fans wearing Cleveland Indians merchandise while watching the game.
“It cannot be described as anything other than a racial caricature, it is wholly unacceptable. The fact that we’re even here today having this argument, shows the unique position of Indigenous people in our society. That it should somehow be perceived as acceptable for Indigenous people to be characterized in that way when it clearly would not be for other groups,” Jilesen told the court.