Cleveland to Discontinue Use of “Chief Wahoo” on Uniforms, but Not Merchandise

On Monday, the Cleveland Indians announced they will stop using the widely-derided “Chief Wahoo” logo on uniforms. However, this change will not take effect in the coming season, but in 2019, the year Cleveland is scheduled to host the All-Star Game.

My initial cynical thought about this was that Cleveland was doing this in order to seemingly cave to pressure from the MLB Commissioner but give the tiki torch-wielding crowd of white boys sad about removal of racist symbols plenty of time to mobilize in protest. In reality, this was likely a condition imposed by MLB in order for Cleveland to host the All-Star Game next year, and while the franchise will remove the logo from team uniforms and signs at Progressive Field, the organization will continue to sell merchandise branded with Chief Wahoo through its proprietary outlets.

While this is a step in the right direction, it is unfortunate that the Cleveland organization is apparently only taking this step under duress and will continue to profit from use of a blatantly racist symbol. I can only hope fans and the MLB will continue pressuring the franchise to retire Chief Wahoo for good.

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