Bomani Jones filled in for one of the Mikes on ESPN’s Mike and Mike this morning and wore a “Caucasians” shirt, which featured a parody of the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo. Molly Qerim and Jones actually dedicated airtime to the shirt, which was supposedly “dominating the social media conversation” as the show progressed.
After saying that he chose to wear the shirt because “it was clean,” Jones discussed the idea behind it: It would be weird to have the Caucasians as a sports mascot, so why is a baseball team still called the Indians?
A partial transcript:
Jones: The reason they won’t get rid of Chief Wahoo, which is completely indefensible, is they could still sell stuff with it. They can say they’re gonna de-emphasize it, but they’re not just gonna set money on fire. I thought [the shirt] was the exact same thing, and I could see the value in the design, so I was like, hey, we might as well give this a run.
Qerim: I think more thought went into it. I think you were trying to make some kind of statement.
Jones: The statement is obvious. This [shirt] is the same thing. What we have here, this is the same thing that goes on with the logo for the Cleveland Indians, right? So, to have a problem with the logo of this, would be to have a problem with the Indians, but if you’re quiet about the Indians, and you got something to say about my shirt, I think it’s time for introspection. I think that’s a fair thing to ask.
Later in the show, Jones’s sweatshirt was partially zipped:
When asked for comment, an ESPN spokesperson said this:
As the show progressed, we felt Bomani had made his point and had openly discussed why he was wearing the shirt, and we wanted to keep the focus to the topics of the day.
The spokesperson declined comment on whether there were any known instances of an ESPN personality being asked to cover up the Chief Wahoo logo.