To kick off the 2019 season, the Cleveland Indians will remove their controversial Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the decision in a statement on Monday after coming to an agreement with Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan.
“The club 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 acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course,” said Manfred.
The logo has long been the source of and anger frustration to those who find it offensive and racist. However, for many Cleveland Indians’ fans, it is a nostalgic trademark to those growing up and supporting the team.
The Indians will keep their nickname however according to the Plain Dealer. Also, Chief Wahoo items will still be up for sale at Progressive Field where the Indians play.
Phillip Yenyo, the executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio, via the New York Times, described this decision to be, “another step in the right direction.”
Yenyo did not agree with the move to hold off until 2019 to remove the logo. “Why wait?” he said. “If you are going to go this far and get rid of it, why not do it now? All they are doing is testing it out, because the name has to go, too. The nickname absolutely has to go. It’s not just the logo.”
This issue has created a divide across other sports as well. The Washington Redskins for example, have resisted the pressure to change their name, for the time being at least. It will be interesting to see which team will make a move next and change history for the better.
As teams change the location where they play or the brand on their uniform, the fan base always remembers the nostalgia associated with the original name and often keeps wearing their true colors. Looking forward to seeing what happens in Cleveland.