Cleveland Indians dropping Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms

Posted January 30, 2018

Chief Wahoo's days are numbered.

The beet red, smiling caricature of a Native American has always been a thorn in the side of those who consider it offensive and racist, with Major League Baseball finding it was no longer appropriate for a team to wear uniforms including Chief Wahoo.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been a proponent of eliminating Chief Wahoo since being named Commissioner in 2015. The change was announced Monday by Major League Baseball.

Chief Wahoo has always been the subject of public scrutiny, with critics claiming that the grinning red-faced logo is offensive to the Native American community.

For 70 years, the Cleveland Indians have played baseball while sporting the image of Chief Wahoo, the team's racist logo depicting a red-faced caricature of a Native American.

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Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has been publicly pressuring the team to remove the logo, the topic of debate coming into the spotlight in 2017 when the team was named as the host site of the 2019 All-Star Game.

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

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. In 1915, the franchise changes its team name to the Indians.

The Indians began using a similar logo in 1946, but changed it to the current Chief Wahoo one in 1950. The Indians replaced it with a "C" on some of their caps and removed signs with Chief Wahoo in and around Progressive Field, the team's ballpark.

Dennis Brown became an accidental leader in the anti-chief movement in 2014 when he meticulously unstitched the Chief Wahoo emblem on the sleeve of his Cleveland Indians jersey a night before leaving to visit their spring training camp. Many others, meanwhile, deem it to be a racially offensive carcitature of Native Americans.

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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.

In 2016, the Cleveland Indians made the World Series, which put a special spotlight on the team's name and its mascot. A judge dismissed the case.

The Indians' bid to host the 2019 All-Star Game, which it was ultimately awarded, further heightened debate over Wahoo.

Stanford, Illinois and Dartmouth are among the colleges and universities that have dropped Native American nicknames or symbols for their teams over the years.

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