2018 will reportedly be the final year that the Cleveland Indians use the controversial Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms. According to the New York Times, MLB has said that Chief Wahoo is “no longer appropriate for use on the field,” and that the Indians will look to remove it from their uniforms before the beginning of the 2019 season.
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. Dolan’s acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.”
The Indians have moved away from using Wahoo as their primary logo in recent seasons, instead opting for a “Block C” logo on their caps and helmets, as seen below on Francisco Lindor’s helmet.
But while Wahoo won’t be on Cleveland’s uniforms or on fixtures or banners anywhere at Progressive Field, the Indians will still be allowed to sell merchandise featuring the logo (but not online), per the Times.
Cleveland has been edging away from the logo in recent years and has used it less frequently, but beginning in 2019 it will not be seen at all on the team’s uniforms, or on banners and signs in Progressive Field, the team’s stadium. Consumers will still be able to purchase items with the logo on them at the team’s souvenir shops in the stadium and at retail outlets in the northern Ohio market, but those items will not be available for sale on M.L.B.’s website.
Indians chairman Paul Dolan also released a statement about the decision on the logo.
“We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion,” Dolan said in a statement issued by M.L.B. “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.”
It seems like it was just a matter of time until this happened. One can only assume that eventually, the logo will be completely eliminated from any merchandise sold by the franchise.