Long-time Blue Jays voice Jerry Howarth won’t be saying “Indians” when Toronto and Cleveland meet in the American League Championship Series starting on Friday. Howarth says he made the decision not to say the Cleveland team name more than two decades ago because he finds it offensive to aboriginal Americans or First Nations people.

Howarth told a Toronto radio show he also doesn’t use “Braves” for Atlanta or phrases like “a pow wow on the mound” for meetings between coaches and pitchers. He said he had made the decision after the 1992 World Series when the Blue Jays beat the Braves.

Howarth says he received a letter from a member of an indigenous tribe and said he had found Indian team names and terms offensive:

“He just wrote it in such a loving, kind way,” Howarth said.

“He touched my heart,” Howarth said.

“For the rest of my career I will not say ‘Indian’ or ‘Brave’ and if I was in the NFL I would not say ‘Redskins,’” Howarth said, referring to the Washington football team.

Howarth has been praised for his stance by listeners and fellow broadcasters alike:




There have been some tweets accusing Howarth of being too PC or too sensitive, but this isn’t a new stand, something he’s done since the 1993 so some could say he’s been ahead of the curve by not saying the Atlanta or Cleveland team names.

[Toronto Star]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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