Since at least 1947, with minor revisions, the Cleveland Indians have worn the cartoon-like logo nicknamed ‘Chief Wahoo’ on their uniforms. But now, after 60 years, it looks like that’s all coming to an end despite the public wanting to keep it.
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. made the announcement that the Indians would be removing the logo come the 2019 season, after his “thoughtful and productive discussions” with the team.
Read between the lines of his statement:
From Breaking 911:
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” said Commissioner Manfred. “Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the Club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team. Nonetheless, 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 acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.”
Translation: he bullied the team into it, despite the Indians fans not being in favor of it.
The team owner, Paul Dolan, said they were “sensitive” to both sides of the discussion but ultimately had to side with the Commissioner to remove the logo.
The Indians began using an Indian logo when they became the Indians in 1915. While they used pictures of various Indians, the Chief Wahoo cartoon-like logo didn’t make its appearance until it was designed by Walter Goldbach in 1947. Why it was nicknamed ‘Chief Wahoo’ is not clear according to the Cleveland.com. But it has maintained the same logo with minor revisions since then.
Cleveland fans love the logo and don’t see it as offensive.
As Cleveland.com notes, #KeepTheChief became a rallying cry for those who feel the icon captures Cleveland pride and history.
Does that mean that the Cleveland Indians name itself might be on the block next by the Commissioner?
As for the name of the team, owner Paul Dolan told The Plain Dealer that Major League Baseball is not seeking changes.
“Not only are we adamant about keeping the name Indians, but the Commissioner (Rob Manfred) is similarly supportive of the name,” said Dolan. “Yes, some people will continue to make noise about that, but I’m not troubled by its use.
“The Commissioner is not troubled by the use of the name. We are confident the name will continue on.”
See how long that lasts.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]