Pretty much ever since Rob Manfred took over as commissioner of baseball, he’s made noise about forcing the Cleveland Indians to give up their racist Chief Wahoo logo.
Well finally, the league seems to be getting serious.
MLB chief communications officer Pat Courtney said Wednesday the league has “specific steps in an identified process” to “transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo.”
MLB chief communications officer Pat Courtney on the league's desire for the Indians to phase out Chief Wahoo pic.twitter.com/6y0EYITPLr
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 12, 2017
The hold-up seems to come from Indians higher-ups who are wary of discarding a well-established part of the franchise’s identity. According to the New York Times, Cleveland management is seeking a solution that will please both people who like imagery that caricatures oppressed groups and people who don’t like imagery that caricatures oppressed groups.
Bob DiBiasio, the Indians’ senior vice president for public affairs, said during Tuesday’s home opener that the club understood the passion on both sides of the issue and that in some ways the team was caught in the middle, trying to find an amicable solution.
“We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo, those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a longstanding attachment to its place in the history of the team,” he said.
DiBiasio said he’d prefer to discuss the matter after the season, which feels like a major cop-out considering he just had an entire offseason to address Chief Wahoo and largely didn’t. Teams change logos all the time, and Cleveland already features its “Block C” design most of the time, so there’s no reason the team brass couldn’t axe Wahoo at any time.
Now, Manfred appears to be putting his foot down, declaring that there’s no better time than the present to settle this issue. Chief Wahoo’s days certainly appear numbered—the question will be how much longer he can survive.