June 28, 2017

Meet the man behind fight to keep Indians logo out of Canada

Paul-Erik Veel was quoted in the USA TODAY Sports article Meet the man behind fight to keep Indians logo out of Canada on June 28, 2017 regarding Douglas Cardinal and his discrimination case against the Cleveland team name and logo.

Cardinal originally filed his case during last season’s playoffs, hoping to stop the use and broadcast of the name and the Wahoo logo when Cleveland played Toronto in the American League Championship Series. The Supreme Court of Justice in Toronto rejected a request for an injunction.

Cleveland is not scheduled to play in Toronto again this season — the team played three games there in May — and a playoff rematch appears unlikely. “The Jays aren’t looking good for a wild-card spot,” says Paul-Erik Veel, Cardinal’s attorney, “so maybe that won’t be an issue this year, sadly.” He hopes the case will be decided before next season.

Veel says he has followed the legal proceedings concerning Washington’s NFL team name with interest but that his case is fundamentally different.

“We’re not challenging the trademarks that the Cleveland team has,” Veel says. “Our position, instead, is using the name and logos during the baseball games played at the Rogers Centre here in Toronto constitutes discrimination in the provision of a service, which is prohibited under the Ontario Human Rights Code.”


Cardinal is an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of his country’s highest honors, and he has received honorary degrees that run into double figures from many of Canada’s top universities.

“I wouldn’t say he is all the way to a household name in Canada,” Veel says, “but he is very well known in some circles, as an architect and an activist.”