Terry Pluto should weigh in with his opinion on Chief Wahoo

by Cleveland Frowns on February 20, 2014

This letter to Terry Pluto originally ran in the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com on February 10. Reposting here because it’s a letter that deserves a response, for obvious reasons, and Pluto hasn’t provided one yet.

Terry Pluto, as a sports editor and religion columnist, you should have an opinion about the controversy around Chief Wahoo. I have written previously to express my outrage over the lack of movement on the part of the Cleveland Indians organization to permanently remove the image of Wahoo.

I have heard Mark Naymik’s opinion (“Washington Redskins’ mascot controversy makes Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo look even more stupid and racist,” Oct. 10, 2013). Why have I not heard from you? Why has Cleveland not heard from you?

As far as I know, you claim to be a Christian. Do you not see the image of Wahoo in direct contradiction to the [tenets] of Christianity? Something like: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” If not, do you not see the image in direct contradiction to humane treatment of other human beings?

I would truly like to hear from you about what you think should happen to the Cleveland Indians logo. It is almost spring training, and you will be promoting baseball. How will you be promoting our Cleveland baseball team?

Beth Kean,


Pluto has been at least somewhat responsive to similarly legitimate concerns in the past so stay tuned and check back here tomorrow for some more substantive reading material.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    The internet is the best.


    “Recently I was reading a sports blog based out of Cleveland, Ohio and … [it] made me wonder, what is Australia’s most futile sporting city? … Conclusion: There is no single place that harbours all of our terrible sports teams as Cleveland appears to be for America.”

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML


      You done came up! Also, I will take any reason I can get to link to Pitbull.

      • Petefranklin

        All 4’2″ of him. Dude is tiny.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns
        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Del >>>>>>> Pitbull, obvs.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

            I beg to differ. Pitbull is up there with Drake and Lil Boosie in the Pantheon of awesome rappers.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Agree to disagree, but at least we can agree that the greatest rapper of all time is Juicy J.

  • maxfnmloans

    Did you hear Brett Favre says Johnny Footbaw reminds Brett Favre of a young Brett Favre? Not sure why Johnny Footbaw is texting Brett Favre pics of his junk, but I guess that means he can be a success in the NFL?

  • Renate Jakupca

    Beth Kean – I am also from Berea, there is more happening in Berea, if you follow the link you will see:
    Let me know what you Think,
    Peace Friend,

  • GRRustlers

    I tend to ignore most of the Chief Wahoo stuff because I’m at the point where people know where I stand.

    Reads the letter to the editor.

    Realizes that it is the stepmother of my wife.

    Realizes that I share common ground with her on this issue even though I hate the religion angle.

    Not prepared for a world in which I agree with her on anything.

    / logs off for the day

    / sets chromebook on fire

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      That’s great. Please give her my regards and invite her to the draft party.

      I think she did a great job with the religion angle given that she’s addressing a religion columnist and avowed Christian.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    This a matter of the rights of the people on our planet. It would probably be in our best interests to leave christianity out of this. The christian genocide against the indigenous population of the americas far outwieghs the nazi atrocities.


    ” Do you not see the image of Wahoo in direct contradiction to the [tenets] of Christianity? Something like: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” The Golden Rule existed at the dawn of civilization, it was there before Hammurabi in 1760BC, yes BC. When some chump created the Christian God Lie, they borrowed heavily from all of the other liars.

    Please to not extoll the virtues of christianity helping the downtrowden, almost native, americans, when your beloved christians started this mess!

    • bupalos

      I think the writer’s and Frown’s tact there is simply to remind Pluto, who wears his religion quite openly, that Wahoo lies far outside of the ideals of Christianity. While it’s certainly true that many if not most of the actual historical actions of actual historical Christians have also failed Christian tenets — maybe most especially wrt native populations in lots of places — there’s nothing wrong with prodding him on this basis. You talk to people in the language they know if you want to get heard.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Yes Bupa, H. L. Mencken here again, “You are probably right.” I took a couple of shots for my benefit for no good reason.
        Sorry about that, everyone in our conversation was well meaning, if perhaps to quote the greatest movie ever they may have been, “misinformed”. I shall endeavor to post less and think more. You know I love you Bupa.

    • Petefranklin

      EVERY war was started in the name of Christianity or so it seems.
      South Park reference: Dum dum dum dum!

      • Petefranklin
      • Petefranklin

        Can Joseph Footbal lead the Clowns to the promised land?

      • Petefranklin

        Don’t forget, GOD himself turned the Indians skin red as punishment!

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        I mean, it might seem that way if you have a tightly constrained view of history that begins in post-Roman Europe and ends in sometime in the 1700s, but, like, people lived other places too, man. I promise you they fought wars as good as anyone, before they ever even heard the good news ’bout JC.

  • bee cee in la

    let me first put out there that i am a visibly identifiable minority as my parents moved to CLE from southern china via HK, i got harassed a LOT growing up in cleveland and have come to see the typical NE ohioan as extremely provincial in outlook after having lived in CA since the late 80′s. if anyone had motivation to speak up against apparent racism in NE ohio, it’d be someone like me. i also profess to be a christian, that is to say, i consider myself to be flawed and in need of a relationship with a higher power/force outside of myself, and i pursue an ideal i know i can not help but fail at 24/7. as it turns out my personal passion is the homeless; i volunteer with a group of similarly minded people to cook and bring food to a park in pasadena, ca. i continue to do so despite nearly losing my life last march.


    my attacker came up to me from behind and stuck a box cutter into my neck, and she managed to sever the anterior branch of my carotid but i was able to stem the flow of blood and get to an ER four blocks away.

    (BTW, i see an irony in that i got little to no media attention but if i’d been muslim i’d probably be a CNN poster boy “MUSLIM almost killed while feeding homeless people”)

    anyway, i was sleeping 12-14 hours a day for about 8 weeks, but i was back out there the next week to let those people know that i thought that they mattered, while some people quit doing it after that attack. i imagine that some might think: ‘how can they quit if i choose to keep doing it?’ but to do so would be to somehow judge someone else to be lacking merely because they didn’t have the same level of commitment/conviction to one particular issue that i (as a flawed standard) did. also, some of them have families and other considerations that i do not.

    i can’t help but see this in much the same way; there’s a ton of injustice out there and no single person can address all of it, regardless of their position of faith. mr. pluto & i don’t see eye to eye on everything, and that’s ok. he gets paid to write for the religion section and he also gets paid to write sports. when he writes an opinion/commentary piece, it’s appropriate for his own personal values to come out, but not when it’s reporting. (too bad hoynes can’t figure this out – he’s been channelling grossi more and more lately). when there’s something pluto feels strongly about, he addresses it – but his first responsibility is to the PD & to cleveland.com who may or may not censor his stuff. ultimately, he picks his battles. there are also a group of people who pick their battles that do so with a singlemindedness that i would characterize as zeal, again regardless of their position of faith,

    i personally would feel it more appropriate to challenge the thinking of the zealots who would question someone else’s “goodness” because they are not as “good” as themselves in some specific area. the point is that comparing someone else against a subjective standard – one’s own morality – is ultimately saying that someone else is somehow inferior if they do not measure up to themselves as the standard. i suggest that it is arrogance to do so, and in my book, pride is the ultimate vice.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I appreciate this perspective a lot, as well as the effort you made to share it here. I don’t think it works very well as a defense for Pluto and the PD here, however. Some issues, like Wahoo, are so plainly wrong and so easily solved that “there’s a ton of injustice in the world” just doesn’t apply. That goes exponentially when we’re talking about an issue that should be square in the wheelhouse of the home of Wahoo’s only newspaper’s chief sports columnist who also frequently writes about religion. It’s understood that Pluto might be constrained by his employers on this issue, in which case it’s mostly and probably almost entirely bad on them, but it’s still a point worth making.

      Keep up the great work out there. That’s an incredible story. Thank you for sharing it.

  • ChuckKoz

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