Cleveland Indians To Scrap Offensive Chief Wahoo Logo In 2019

    After years of opinions, arguments and resistance to a changing society, the Cleveland Indians will finally stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019, according to Major League Baseball, which said the popular symbol was no longer appropriate for use on the field.

    Erick Fernandez on Twitter

    Long, long, long overdue. https://t.co/H1UyGc9tlR

    The issue picked up steam in 2016 when the World Series was played in Cleveland and during the American League Championship Series in Toronto when Douglas Cardinal, an indigenous Canadian activist, sought a last-minute court injunction to prevent the team from using uniforms depicting the Indians name or the Chief Wahoo logo while in Toronto.

    Judge Tom McEwan declined the petition, but over the past year the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, has pressured Paul Dolan, Clevelands chairman and chief executive, to make a change.

    Over the years, the logo has become a controversial source of frustration for those outside of the city of Cleveland who consider it offensive, outdated and racist. Some folks compare the offensiveness of the logo to whites in Black face. 

    However, for some fans, it is a cherished, indigenous logo in a world where most universities have stopped using Native American nicknames. Kind of like those confederate images and statues that are going down one by one throughout the South, where a new culture of acceptance is forming.

    Cleveland Indians Among Team Names Under Fire

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    The Washington Redskins have been pressured for years to change the logo, but have resisted, citing financial and marketing reasons as well as feedback it has gotten from within the Native American community. 

    To a growing contingent of people, using Native Americans as logos dehumanizes and degrades and is inappropriate in todays society, where diversity should no longer be seen as something unusual. 

     Chief Wahoo, a cartoon caricature of a Native American, first appeared on the Indians uniforms in 1948. 

    A History of Chief Wahoo

    Since his debut in 1947, Chief Wahoo has represented the Cleveland Indians. Although the image has long been controversial, recent team victories has brought the logo under closer scrutiny. But where does the image and name actually originate?

    Citing a goal of diversity and inclusion, Manfred said in a statement provided to The New York Times that the Indians organization ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolans acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.