What will the Cleveland Indians jersey look like now that Chief Wahoo has gotten the axe?
That is a question many were asking on Monday after Major League Baseball announced that the Indians will be getting rid of the controversial mascot after the coming season. There had long been controversy over the team’s use of the bright red-skinned, grinning mascot, which many Native American groups saw as an offensive representation of their culture.
As NBC News reported, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told Indians owner Paul Dolan that the offensive masot’s time had passed.
“Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo,” Manfred said. “During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.”
He added, “Nonetheless, the club 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 acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.”
It was not immediately clear what the Cleveland Indians new logo would look like, but the report indicated that it will resemble the stylized “C” that the team had already been wearing on its jerseys. Some fans have suggested that the team could hold a competition to let them play a role in picking the new logo, while others called on the team to contact Native American artists to help incorporate them in the decision-making process.
The Cleveland Indians’ new logo will be a welcome change for many advocacy groups. As ESPN reported, groups of Native Americans have protested outside the Cleveland stadium before the home opener each year in opposition to the Chief Wahoo logo. The team had already removed the Chief Wahoo logo from outside Progressive Field in Cleveland, but the logo will remain on jersey sleeves and hats throughout the 2018 season before it is phased out.
The move follows a number of other colleges and universities that have dropped Native American names and logos seen as offensive. There have also been calls for the Washington Redskins to change their name and logo, but team ownership has remained resistant to the move.
It was not yet clear if the Cleveland Indians would introduce any more changes to their logo or design for the 2019 season, or if the new logo could be introduced as an alternate at some point during the 2018 season.