The Cleveland Indians will no longer bear the familiar Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in the 2019 season, per an announcement by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday.
Chief Wahoo has been a staple of the Cleveland Indians since 1947 and is held dear to some, but the removal of this insensitive mascot is long overdue. His appearance has been altered over the years, but the conveyed message remains the same.
Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan said in a statement that he is “ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred’s desire to remove the logo.”
Manfred said in the announcement that the Chief Wahoo logo is “no longer appropriate for on-field use” and the MLB “is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game.”
Some Indians fans are arguing that society is becoming too politically correct and “soft” but this is not the case. Those who are worried about losing their beloved mascot are missing the big picture.
The truth is that the voices of those who stood against Chief Wahoo, and other mascots for that matter, simply were not heard. Native Americans have been protesting and speaking against this logo for decades, but were left unnoticed.
According to an article by the Associated Press, Cleveland has been moving away from Chief Wahoo in recent years — introducing the “C” on ball caps and removing stadium signs with the logo on it.
This shows a movement towards inclusiveness and understanding — frankly, it is more important to protect the marginalized than support a logo that has always been racist. But simply removing the logo is just getting to the surface of the issue and does not mean that there will be a societal change.
Although Chief Wahoo will cease to exist on uniforms next year, the familiar big-toothed and red-faced logo will continue to be displayed by fans across Cleveland and the United States.