Appearing on the Mike & Mike sports radio program, MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said that he plans on meeting with Cleveland Indians ownership to discuss the team’s use of Chief Wahoo as their logo.
Robert Manfred told Mike Golic that he understands why Cleveland’s logo offends some people but also sympathizes with fans who appreciate the symbol’s rich history with the franchise established in 1901.
The name change to the Cleveland “Indians” from the Cleveland “Naps” originated over a century ago after owner Charles Somers asked sportswriters to come up with a new moniker following the departure of their talented player/manager Napoleon (Nap) Lajoie.
Manfred stated, “I think that after the World Series, at an appropriate point in time, Mr. [Larry] Dolan and I have agreed we’ll have a conversation about what should happen with that particular logo going forward.”
Dolan established earlier in the year that his team’s logo, Chief Wahoo, would serve as an alternate to the classic block-C logo. The Indians have been wearing the Wahoo cap for every game this postseason—they have one loss in three series—despite Dolan subordinating it to the backup position. Traditionally, the team’s starting pitcher chooses which cap they will wear for each game.
Deadspin reported, an activist in Canada filed a request for an injunction to ban the Wahoo logo while the Indians were playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during the ALCS. That request was denied.
The MLB addressed the logo controversy in a post season official statement:
Major League Baseball appreciates the concerns of those that find the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians to be offensive. We would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation. Given the demands for completing the League Championship Series in a timely manner, MLB will defend Cleveland’s right to use their name that has been in existence for more than 100 years.
Needless to say, this matter remains far from over and controversy will persist as it has for the Washington Redskins in the NFL.