Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was in Cleveland yesterday to announce that the city would play host to the 2019 MLB All-Star Game… but before that he had an important chat with Cleveland Indians owners Paul Dolan and John Sherman regarding the team’s continued use of their controversial “Chief Wahoo” logo.
“I’m not going to speculate on what I want the end of the process to be,” Commissioner Manfred told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer after the meetings. “Paul (Dolan) has been fantastic about engaging. We’ve had a number of conversations. I want those conversations to continue and I think we’ll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball. But what exactly that is I don’t want to speculate.”
Chief Wahoo has been in use in some capacity by the Indians for over 70 years, it’s been the subject of numerous protests during that time. Cleveland’s recent appearance in the Postseason and eventually the World Series only increased its exposure and with that came more opposition, a legal attempt was made in Ontario to prevent the Indians from using both their name and logo while playing games in Toronto during the ALCS. Eventually Ontario Superior Court Judge Thomas McEwen decided not to implement the ban.
The Indians have scaled back their use of Wahoo in recent years, from the mid 1980s through the late 2000s Chief Wahoo was the team’s primary logo, appeared on their home and road caps, and on the sleeves of all their jerseys. Since 2009, the logo has been removed from their road and alternate caps and was replaced by MLB as their primary logo with a generic red block “C” with Wahoo relegated, officially, to “secondary logo”. The Indians also do not use the Wahoo logo anywhere during their Spring Training games, presumably out of respect for the larger Native American population present in Arizona.
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