Chief Wahoo is going to take a backseat in the Cleveland Indians’ branding and could even disappear entirely in the near future.
Indians owner Paul Dolan spoke recently at an event at a Cleveland-area temple and covered a number of topics related to the club’s 2017 season, including ace Corey Kluber’s injury and how the team has changed under manager Terry Francona. But what really grabbed people’s attention was Dolan’s explanation of what will happen to the Chief Wahoo logo.
“Some want to keep (Wahoo), some want to get rid of him, but the issue is not going to go,” Dolan said, via the Cleveland Jewish News’ Ed Carroll. “We are mindful that there are people who are offended by it, and frankly if you leave Northeastern Ohio, it changes, the perspective on this changes. We were on some path towards a middle ground, I don’t know what that path was, and that’s still where we’re headed, but we’re headed there faster than we’ve ever liked because the commissioner of baseball weighed in on this.”
Dolan said commissioner Rob Manfred has reached out about eliminating the logo, but he prefers to reduce its use without getting rid of it entirely. But no matter what happens, Dolan said the issue should be resolved “within a couple of years.”
Chief Wahoo has been the subject of plenty of controversy, as it’s generally considered to be a racist caricature of Native Americans. The Indians supposedly were already in the process of phasing Chief Wahoo out, which is why it came as a surprise to many people when Cleveland opted to use the logo on the team’s hats and jerseys on Opening Day and during their home opener rather than the block “C.”
Either way, it sounds as though Major League Baseball will make the Indians’ decision for them if they don’t act in a timely manner.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images