By Frederick H. Lowe
The Cleveland Indians will drop its controversial logo from the team’s uniform beginning with the 2019 season, but the logo will continue to be sold by retailers in Northeast Ohio and in Goodyear, Arizona, where the Indians hold spring training.
Major League Baseball announced on Monday the Indians will discontinue using the Chief Wahoo logo after reaching an agreement with the team.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, said in a statement. “Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan, the team’s owner, made it clear that there are fans who have a long-standing attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.”
The battle to remove the logo has gone on for decades. Comedian, social commentator and activist Dick Gregory raised public awareness about the logo, calling it an insult to Native Americans.
Gregory, who died last year at the age of 84, also criticized the Washington Redskins of the National Football League for the team’s name. The NFL said the Redskins don’t plan to change the team’s name although some sports commentators no longer use it.
The Cleveland Indians logo first appeared on the team’s uniform in 1947 after being created in 1946 by Walter Goldbach. The team’s primary logo is the Block C for Cleveland.
The Indians also don’t plan to change the name of their team, said Major League Baseball.