This year, Pedro Rodriguez appeared not with a headdress and an argument, but a pair of wraparound sunglasses and an apology. In the same air brushed sweatshirt that he wore when he confronted protesters outside the ironically named Progressive Field in 2014, Cleve Scene reports that Rodriguez apologized to Robert Roche for comments he made while wearing redface. Roche is the local leader of the American Indian Education Center. The two men then embraced.
At the center of the argument is Chief Wahoo, the baseball team’s controversial caricature of a Native American, with protesters making Opening Day protests an annual event. In addition to Rodriguez’s apology, the movement seems to be having an effect on the team at large, though they’re avoiding the “retirement” word.
“We have gone to the Block C as our primary mark,” team CEO Paul Dolan told the Plain Dealer. “Clearly, we are using it more heavily than we are the Chief Wahoo logo.”
Fans holding up signs featuring the Chief Wahoo logo.
For his part, Rodriguez remains apologetic, but not quite sorry enough to see the problem with calling people from American Indians in 2016.
“He still likes the name,” Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez, a member of the InterReligious Task Force on Central America, told Cleve Scene. “But he says he will never dress that way again. It was really moving and beautiful.”