Beginning next year the Chief Wahoo logo will no longer be used on the Cleveland Indians uniforms or seen on signage in the ballpark.
The Cleveland Indians have announced that it will nix the controversial Chief Wahoo logo starting next year.
The logo, which first appeared in 1948, will be removed from all uniforms and ballpark signage but will still appear on souvenir items in the team’s shop. The logo will not be on items sold on MLB.com.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been pressuring the team to remove the logo and announced via a statement to the New York Times that Paul Dolan, the Indians chairman, and chief executive, was finally making the change:
[Dolan] 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 acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.
The logo is a cartoon depiction of a Native American man that has long been criticized as being insensitive and racist. Similar rumblings have been made about the Washington Redskins logo and team name, though the NFL team has yet to make any changes.
Dolan cites his desire for sensitivity and inclusion in a statement released by MLB today, cited in the New York Times:
We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion. While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I’m ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred’s desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019.
The Atlanta Braves have also been under fire for their team name and famous pre-game tomahawk chant. Several colleges have changed their team names due to racial sensitivity.
The Indians home opener is April 6 against Kansas City Royals.