Beginning in 2019, the Cleveland Indians will no longer use the controversial 'Chief Wahoo' logo on their uniforms. MLB and team owner Paul Dolan announced the decision in a statement released on Monday. Here is that statement in full:
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that the Cleveland Indians will remove the "Chief Wahoo" logo from their uniforms, effective with the 2019 season. The announcement comes following thoughtful and productive discussions between Major League Baseball and the Indians.
"Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game," said Commissioner Manfred. "Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the Club's use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team. Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan's acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course."
"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion," said Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan. "While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I'm ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred's desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019."
The Wahoo logo first appeared in 1938 as a sleeve patch on the Indians' home uniforms. Wahoo first appeared on the team's caps in 1954 and was used on the front of the jersey from 1963-69. From 1986 through 2010, Wahoo was the hat logo, but in 2011 the Indians replaced it with a block "C" on the road caps. Last season, Wahoo was on the home caps and on the left sleeve of the club's home and road uniforms.
Also worth noting is that Wahoo won't be disappearing entirely. In order to control use of the image, the Indians must demonstrate ownership of it:
The Indians will maintain control of the Chief Wahoo trademark. In order to do so, it will still have a limited retail presence. No retail presence would open door for another party to seize control of the mark and profit from it.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) January 29, 2018