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Blue Jays announcer promises not to use 'Indians' name during ALCS broadcast — here's why


It all stems from a letter he recieved in 1992.

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The Blue Jays might be playing the Indians Friday night, but don't expect the long-time Toronto broadcaster to dare utter the Cleveland team's name.

Jerry Howarth said Tuesday during an interview on The Jeff Blair Radio Show that he chose in 1992 not to use the Cleveland name ever again because it is offensive to aboriginal Americans. In addition, he vowed not refer to the "Braves" or use the phrase "a powwow on the mound" to describe talks between coaches and pitchers.

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The decision came after the Blue Jays won their first World Series against Atlanta, and Howarth received "one of the best fan letters" from a listener in Northern Ontario.

"He said, 'Jerry, I appreciate your work, but in the World Series, it was so offensive to have the tomahawk chop and to have people talk about the 'powwows on the mound' and then the Cleveland Indians logo and the Washington Redskins,'" the announcer recalled. "He just wrote it in such a loving, kind way. He said, 'I would really appreciate it if you would think about what you say with those teams.'"

That letter, Howarth said, "touched my heart." And ever since, he's only referred to the teams as Cleveland and Atlanta.

"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,'" he said, referring to the Washington football team.

The move, though deemed too sensitive and politically correct by some, earned him praise on Twitter.

Even a fellow Blue Jays broadcaster decided to follow suit after hearing Howarth's comments.

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