Published: Mon, January 29, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Major League Baseball forces Cleveland to relinquish offensive logo

Major League Baseball forces Cleveland to relinquish offensive logo

Many sports teams across all levels of sports have stopped using Native American imagery as mascots or logos, while others-most notably the NFL's Washington team-have continued to do so despite pressure to make a name change.

The decision has the support of the Major League Baseball, which has urged the team to decrease its use of the logo in recent years.

According to the New York Times, fans still will be able to purchase items featuring the logo at souvenir shops within Progressive Field in Cleveland and at retail shops in northern OH and around the team's Arizona spring training home, but such items will not be sold at Major League Baseball's website.

As a result, Manfred has been outspoken in trying to get Dolan to eliminate the logo.

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For 70 years, the Cleveland Indians have played baseball while sporting the image of Chief Wahoo, the team's racist logo depicting a red-faced caricature of a Native American.

Manfred cited the league's commitment to "building a culture of diversity and inclusion" in his announcement. In a statement provided to The New York Times, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that Cleveland "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 acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course".

Chief Wahoo's days are numbered.

"We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo ― those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a long-standing attachment to its place in the history of the team", he said in a statement.

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Cleveland won't break away from Wahoo in an instant, however.

According to, former Indians owner Bill Veeck made the logo part of the team's uniform in the 1940s.

The block-C logo became the team's primary logo beginning in the 2014 season, but Chief Wahoo lingered on, both as an official secondary logo used by the team on uniforms, signage, and more, and on official, team-licensed fan apparel. Native American activist Douglas Cardinal went to Canadian courts to prevent Cleveland from wearing uniforms with Chief Wahoo on them, but the injunction was denied.

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