Cleveland Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms in 2019

  • Cleveland Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms in 2019

Cleveland Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms in 2019

So far, the Indians have been officially silent on the news, but the Times says baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has told it the chief is done for.

Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo will officially be fazed out of the organization's uniforms, gear, and at Progressive Field starting in 2019.

The Indians' longtime primary logo has come under greater scrutiny in recent years for what many believe is a flagrantly racist caricature of Native Americans. "Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan's acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course", Manfred said.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has been publicly pressuring the team to remove the logo, the topic of debate coming into the spotlight in 2017 when the team was named as the host site of the 2019 All-Star Game.

"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion", the team's chairman and chief executive, Paul Dolan, wrote in a statement. Last year, a Supreme Court ruling in another case cleared the way for the Redskins to preserve the trademark on its logo.

At the time, Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' senior vice president of public affairs, indicated the team would be receptive to a future change.

The Indians began using a similar logo in 1946, but changed it to the current Chief Wahoo one in 1950.

Dolan said that though some fans may still prefer Chief Wahoo to the team's newer block "C" logo, it will nevertheless no longer have a place on the diamond.

The team will continue to sell Chief Wahoo gear because if it stops doing so, it will lose ownership of the trademark, and others will be able to use the symbol as they please. Many others, meanwhile, deem it to be a racially offensive carcitature of Native Americans.

Every year, groups of Native Americans and their supporters have protested outside the stadium before the home opener in hopes of not only getting the team to abolish Chief Wahoo but to change the Indians' nickname, which they feel is an offensive depiction of their race. Though it won't be for sale on merchandise through Major League Baseball and it won't appear on jerseys, caps, or in Progressive Field where the Indians play, items with the logo will still be available locally, in stores across northern OH and in the team's shop. He later admitted that he was "bothered" by the Chief Wahoo logo.