Cleveland Indians to remove 'Chief Wahoo' from uniforms in 2019
- Author: Santos West Jan 30, 2018,
Jan 30, 2018, 1:00
In discussions spanning the past year, Major League Baseball had urged the team to remove the logo despite the wishes of numerous team's fans who want to keep it, the statement said.
Several universities have changed the logos or nicknames of their athletic teams in recent years, and the Indians are not the only professional sports franchise to draw scrutiny.
Chief Wahoo's days are numbered.
Speaking to Cleveland.com, owner Paul Dolan said of the logo, "You can't help but be aware of how many of our fans are connected to Chief Wahoo". During our constructive conversations, [Indians Chairman and CEO] Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.
Major League Baseball announced today that the Cleveland Indians will remove the red-faced logo from team uniforms in 2019.
The logo won't be available on any gear available for purchase online at Major League Baseball's store after 2019.
"We have consistently maintained that we are cognisant and sensitive to both sides of the situation", Dolan said.
"We fully expect to work with the Commissioner throughout the remainder of this season on finding a solution that is good for the game and our organization".
The block-C logo became the team's primary logo beginning in the 2014 season, but Chief Wahoo lingered on, both as an official secondary logo used by the team on uniforms, signage, and more, and on official, team-licensed fan apparel.
Chief Wahoo has always been the subject of public scrutiny, with critics claiming that the grinning red-faced logo is offensive to the Native American community.
When the Indians visited the Toronto Blue Jays for games 3-5 in the 2016 ALCS, indigenous activist Doug Cardinal tried petitioning to the Ontario superior court to disallow Cleveland's team name and Chief Wahoo logo from appearing in Canada. David Waldstein of the New York Times also reported that the logo will not appear on signs or banners at their ballpark, Progressive Field.
The team will still be making money on the caricature.
The Times says that's to maintain the trademark rather than letting another entity grab it, although it seems unlike the team will lose a trademark if it chose not to sell merchandise with it.
The Chief Wahoo symbol, however, was still stitched onto their uniforms.
The polarizing mascot is coming off the team's jersey sleeves and caps starting in the 2019 season, a move that will end Chief Wahoo's presence on the field but may not completely silence those who deem it racist.