The Cleveland Indians will abandon the use of the Chief Wahoo logo ahead of the 2019 season, Major League Baseball and the organization said in a statement released to The New York Times on Monday. During our constructive conversations, 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.
Indians fans have been split over the years about whether the logo is racially-insensitive and should be removed with many groups saying the Indians should find another logo to represent the team. That concession will allow the team to retain its trademark to the logo.
"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion", said Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan.
The decision appears to be one initially pushed by the league office, with eventual and strong support from the Indians. The team had begun using a block "C" on some of their hats.
(It replaced a far more offensive illustration, if you can believe it.) The look of Chief Wahoo underwent some revisions in the following decades, but for the most part the cartoon became the face of Cleveland's baseball team.
She celebrated the fact that instead of just quietly changing the logo, Major League Baseball said it was inappropriate to use.More news: Crude oil futures up 1.76% on global cues
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Brown, who grew up in the Cleveland suburbs and works in marketing in Columbus, said he'll wear his de-chiefed jersey to training camp again this spring.
Shapiro eventually left the Indians to work for the Toronto Blue Jays where he found himself in the spotlight again over the logo thanks to a legal challenge made in Canada, hoping to prevent the Indians from wearing clothing with the logo during a 2016 playoff series against the Blue Jays.
"The team is still going to be able to license Wahoo and make money off of that racist image", he says.
Walter Goldbach created the iconic and controversial Chief Wahoo for the Indians as a teenager in 1946. Manfred called the logo "problematic" in October and said he would revisit the issue this offseason.
Atlanta has also moved away from their traditional logos featuring Native Americans, but the Tomahawk Chop and other remembrances remain in the National League East.
The decision to wait until 2019 was meant to give fans and the team time to transition, according to a source familiar with the change. "For too long, people of color have been stereotyped with these kinds of hurtful symbols - and no symbol is more hurtful than the football team in the nation's capital using a dictionary-defined racial slur as its team name".