Bomani Jones is known for being one of ESPN’s bolder personalities. But this morning it was his shirt, not his words that caused a stir.
During an appearance on ESPN morning show Mike & Mike, Jones rocked a shirt with the word “Caucasians” plastered across the front. No, you did not miss an announcement of yet another White-owned sports team. Rather, the shirt mockingly borrows Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians uniform logo and flips it.
Maybe he is celebrating the 27th anniversary of Major League, the movie that mocked the Indians and their years of struggle.
The shirt is made by Cleveland-based Shelf Life Clothing Co., which has an entire line of shirts, hoodies and stickers with the Caucasians logo emblazoned on it. The shirts have been on sale since 2009, however this is the first time the designed has appeared on ESPN.
When Jones was asked on Twitter about his wardrobe selection, his answer was not as political as many would have assumed.
For decades there has been debate over whether or not the Indians team name, and others like it including the Atlanta Braves and Washington Washington Football Team, are disrespectful towards Native Americans. In 1997 protesters gathered outside of Jacob’s Field where the Indians played in the World Series, to protest use of the name and accompanying Chief Wahoo logo. The following year, protesters gathered again outside of the stadium, this time getting arrested for burning an effigy of the Chief Wahoo logo. Native Americans have gathered outside of Jacob’s Field to protest on Opening Day for years now.
Shelf Life is not alone in using the Indians’ logo to make a point. Clothing company Hella Tight made waves with their “Whities” line of fitted caps some years ago.
So, if you’re up to it, you can rock a whole Caucasian Whities outfit this summer.