Cleveland Indians to Remove 'Chief Wahoo' Logo From Uniform in 2019

Jan 30, 2018, 01:20
Cleveland Indians to Remove 'Chief Wahoo' Logo From Uniform in 2019

Last season, Wahoo was on the home caps and on the left sleeve of the club's home and road uniforms.

"Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game", said Commissioner Manfred. That's obviously not the exact equation here, but if you want to be a good baseball team in 2018, the associated attention is going to force a lot of people to wonder why you've clung so long to an embarrassing logo that mocks an entire, oft-marginalized race of real people.

The controversial caricature depicting a Native American has been used in some form since 1947. "I remember seeing the little cartoon of The Chief in the paper each day, showing if the Indians won or lost". "This is the hardest decision we've had to make during our entire ownership", Dolan told Terry Pluto, who noted that Dolan's voice "cracked" with emotion during the conversation.

The Indians dropping Chief Wahoo doesn't end sports-mascot racism by a long shot, of course, not even baseball.

The fight against the Indians' logo escalated in 2016, when the club made the World Series and Manfred expressed his desire to have the team get rid of the symbol. Though the name itself generates controversy, the offensive logo will finally be put to rest. That court case was dismissed by a judge.

The Indians' bid to host the 2019 All-Star Game, which it was ultimately awarded, further heightened debate over Wahoo. Topps, the company that markets baseball cards, replaced the Chief Wahoo logo with the "C" in 2017 and made a point to feature photographs of players not wearing the logo. And so I think what they wanted to do was to protect the fans who want to wear their stuff but comply with the political environment as it is today.

The logo is a cartoon depiction of a Native American man that has always been criticized as being insensitive and racist. While the logo will disappear from both uniforms and stadium displays next year, merchandise branded with the logo will still be allowed to be sold in local shops but not on the MLB's website, according to the New York Times. That is why they chose to make the move now to officially bring the logo to an end. For over 40 years, one fan, John Adams, has pounded a tom-tom in the left-field bleachers.

Fans of the image and the team's name cite tradition when defending the logo and name.

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