The controversial Chief Wahoo logo will be dropped from the Cleveland Indians‘ uniforms, with the move taking effect in 2019.
In the past few years, the Indians have increasingly downplayed Chief Wahoo on team uniforms, branding and marketing. However, the idea of dropping the logo completely had previously been met with some reluctance from Indians chairman and chief executive Paul Dolan, even as Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred increased pressure on the team to get rid of Chief Wahoo.
As announced by the team and the league on Monday, Chief Wahoo will longer be used on the Indians’ uniforms or displayed on signs or banners at Progressive Field beginning in 2019. The Indians will maintain their trademark for Chief Wahoo, and plan to make the logo available to fans through retail. More from The New York Times:
Cleveland has been edging away from the logo in recent years and has used it less frequently, but beginning in 2019 it will not be seen at all on the team’s uniforms, or on banners and signs in Progressive Field, the team’s stadium. Consumers will still be able to purchase items with the logo on them at the team’s souvenir shops in the stadium and at retail outlets in the northern Ohio market, but those items will not be available for sale on M.L.B.’s website.
“We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion,” Dolan said in a statement issued by M.L.B. “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.”
While Chief Wahoo has had some supporters, many of whom cite its history with the franchise’s uniforms that dates to the late 1940’s, the logo has been widely criticized as being a derogatory stereotype. Though it has maintained a presence, the Indians have been using it with less frequency in recent years, instead placing an increased emphasis on their block C logo.
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