Before ALCS Game 3, MLB responds to criticisms of Indians' mascot Chief Wahoo

The upcoming ALCS games in Toronto between the Blue Jays and visiting Indians have put the focus on Cleveland's controversial mascot, Chief Wahoo, and their use of Native American imagery and symbolism in general.

Already, a Blue Jays broadcaster has stated he won't refer to Cleveland as the Indians, and an indigenous activist is also challenging the Indians' use of Wahoo in an Ontario court Monday. All of this prompted MLB to release a statement before Game 3 on Monday night. Here is that 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."

Obviously, no such changes were going to occur mere hours before first pitch Monday night, and MLB says as much in its statement.

The Indians have been gradually phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo in recent years -- they also use a block "C" logo -- and that will continue going forward. MLB obviously supports use of the logo, otherwise it wouldn't be allowed at all.

A ruling from the Ontario court is expected later Monday. The Indians lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.

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