Cleveland Indians Demote Chief Wahoo Logo, No Plans To Get Rid Of Controversial Mascot

Jeremy Laukkonen

The Cleveland Indians will no longer use the controversial Chief Wahoo as their primary logo, according to a statement from team owner Paul Dolan.

The Indians have used a "block C" as a secondary logo for a number of years, but it was only recently promoted to primary status. Chief Wahoo will remain a secondary logo, and the team has no current plans to do away with it entirely.

Paul Dolan confirmed the new logo hierarchy in a statement made to the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Friday.

"We have gone to the Block C as our primary mark. Clearly, we are using it more heavily than we are the Chief Wahoo logo."

Despite the move to demote Chief Wahoo, Dolan also told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that there are currently "no plans to get rid of Chief Wahoo, it is part of our history and legacy."

The Chief Wahoo logo depicts a cartoon caricature of a red-faced Indian. The logo, along with the name of the Cleveland Indians team, has drawn sharp criticism over the last several decades. Other sports teams, such as the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Braves, have drawn similar criticism.

The Redskins were even taken to court last year, as previously reported by Inquisitr. At the time, the judge voided the Redskins trademark registration, saying that the name was offensive to Native Americans.

The Cleveland Indians faced legislative challenges in 1993, when an Ohio state legislator promised to block funding for any new stadium if Chief Wahoo wasn't retired, but the team ultimately kept their logo upon moving to Jacobs Field in 1994.

The same 1997 report noted that the Cleveland Indians' mascot Slider, "a pink-and-yellow creature," had nothing to do with the Indians motif. Although Chief Wahoo is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a mascot, Slider has been the official mascot of the Indians since 1990.

Although Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan has now gone on record as saying that the newer Block C logo is officially the primary logo of his team, financial concerns have likely informed the decision to retain Chief Wahoo as a secondary logo.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, merchandise with the Chief Wahoo logo is still tremendously popular among fans. For instance, Chief Wahoo has been removed from the team's road cap, but it is still present on the home cap, which was the best selling cap last season. The washed Chief Wahoo cap also sold better than the washed Block C cap.

Despite the popularity of Chief Wahoo merchandise, Cleveland Indians fans are split on whether the team should ditch the controversial logo or return it to primary status.

— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) April 2, 2016

— Nick DBae (@Original_DBae) April 2, 2016

[Photo by AP Photo/Tony Dejak]