Cleveland Indians Finally Scrap Offensive Logo

Mark Duncan  Associated Press

Mark Duncan Associated Press

In 2013, the team began emphasizing an alternative logo in spring training, one that featured a simple block-lettered C in place of the Chief Wahoo logo. "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".

In discussions spanning the past year, Major League Baseball had urged the team to remove the logo despite the wishes of numerous team's fans who want to keep it, the statement said. That concession will allow the team to retain its trademark to the logo.

Manfred acknowledged the logo's deeply problematic nature in April 2017, when the league awarded the 2019 All-Star Game to the Cleveland baseball team, and in related meetings pressured the team to "transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo", MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

Chief Wahoo, a characteristic image of a Native American, has been a controversial figure in sports since his official creation in 1946, but his presence has down anger in more recent years.

"Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball".

"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the situation", Dolan said.

While the team has used the image of a Native American as their logo for almost 100 years, it wasn't until the late 1940's that the Wahoo logo was used but Wahoo has remained, for the most part, unchanged since then. The team name - which has also been criticized as offensive - will not be changing.

The decision is unlikely to quell complaints from Native American organizations and others who see the symbol as offensive.

"Cleveland's decision should finally compel the Washington football team to make the same honorable decision", Halbritter's statement said.

Speaking before that series, Shapiro was more explicit, saying he had always been bothered by the Wahoo logo, something that was easier to say now that he was no longer part of the team.

Cleveland AIM calls the use of the Chief Wahoo mascot "bigoted, racist and shameful", and the Committee of 500 complains that the logo is a negative stereotype against indigenous people. A judge dismissed the case. If MLB and the Indians stopped selling the logo, they could risk losing the trademark rights.

Still, it's better than nothing, although it sets the stage for every game in Cleveland this year to be a protest against eliminating the mascot.

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