Cleveland Indians to remove 'racist' Chief Wahoo logo from 2019


In 2016, Dolan acknowledged the block "C" had become the team's primary logo but insisted Chief Wahoo was not going away.

And while there have been protests of the logo at Indians games for years, there are still fans of the logo who don't want to see it removed.

That kind of plausible deniability is nice to have, what with Cleveland hosting the 2019 All-Star Game. The petition was denied, but by the following Opening Day, Manfred had begun to speak out publicly about the issue of Chief Wahoo and to signal his desire for the team to move on from it. "Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball", said Manfred.

The excuse is that, due to trademark laws, Cleveland needs to continue to manufacture and sell merchandise with Wahoo on it in order to avoid having anyone with the means to produce their own merch from doing the same.

The Mayor of Cleveland has also said he applauds the team for showing "the city, nation and world that Cleveland is an inclusive place that values all diversity".

The polarizing logo will disappear from the Cleveland Indians' hats and jerseys at the start of the 2019 season, the team and Major League Baseball confirmed on Monday.

"They should be commended for taking this step, [but] they took a baby step", Philip Yenyo, executive director of the American Indian Movement of OH, said in a telephone interview.

Just in case the commitment to coddling Chief Wahoo's defenders was unclear, Dolan added: "We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion".

"Not only are we adamant about keeping the name Indians, but the Commissioner (Rob Manfred) is similarly supportive of the name", said Dolan.

Those dissenting voices have been met with fans devoted to preserving Chief Wahoo's place in team history.

The caricature of a Native American, which is beloved by Cleveland fans far and wide, has been under attack for years by Native American groups for being racist.

While the team name is staying, the (mostly) thorough removal of the Wahoo logo is the biggest move yet among teams who have faced criticism over the way they portray indigenous peoples, including the ongoing storm brewing over the Washington NFL franchise. Sockalexis isn't mentioned as an inspiration until 1948, but the story is repeated enough in sports media that history was rewritten. As the Times puts it: "Some proponents of the logo say that it, and the team name, actually honors American Indians".