The Cleveland Indians’ controversial Native American mascot who has served as the team’s primary logo until recently. The announcement was made on Monday, via the New York Times, as the team said the Wahoo logo has been criticized as a racist caricature by many over the years and now they have decided that it will be fully removed from the team’s current set of jerseys and logos by 2019.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) January 29, 2018
Debuting in 1948, the logo has remained in circulation even as the team has made it less prominent in favor of the new block “C” logo that currently adorns their main caps.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been publicly pressuring the team to remove the logo, the topic of debate coming into the spotlight in 2017 when the team was named as the host site of the 2019 All-Star Game.
The logo won’t be completely gone, though. Though it won’t be for sale on merchandise through MLB and it won’t appear on jerseys, caps, or in Progressive Field where the Indians play, items with the logo will still be available locally, in stores across northern Ohio and in the team’s shop.
While the team name is staying, the (mostly) thorough removal of the Wahoo logo is the biggest move yet among teams who have faced criticism over the way they portray indigenous peoples, including the ongoing storm brewing over the Washington NFL franchise.