Baseball’s commissioner has hinted that he may be preparing to try and force the owner of the Cleveland Indians to eliminate the team’s decades old Chief Wahoo logo.
After Major League Baseball announced that Cleveland’s Progressive Field would host the 2019 All-Star Game, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the media that he spoke with Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan and minority owner John Sherman about dumping the 70-year-old logo.
Introduced in 1947, the cartoon image of an American Indian rallied fans for over 50 years without much controversy until liberal activists began to target the image in the last few decades. Now Manfred is ramping up the pressure, though he noted that he wasn’t prepared to say what the end of “the process” would be.
Commissioner Manfred did not elaborate on any timeline for the decision nor did he say if he delivered any ultimatums.
Manfred has attempted to cajole the Indians to dump their logo for some time. Last October, for instance, Manfred noted that the team’s logo took on greater gravity with last year’s World Series. “Everything about that team attracts more attention and I think that’s probably the case with respect to the logo issue,” Manfred said.
“I know that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and all of us at Major League Baseball understand why,” Manfred added.
To date team owner Paul Dolan has resisted any move to replace the long-used logo though he has allowed the logo to be used less than it once was.
Last April Dolan reported that the team would keep its logo, but also said they would go back to using the big block “C” logo more often than the Chief Wahoo image.
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