MLB removed a 'Jackie Robinson Day' cap featuring Chief Wahoo from their online store
Chief Wahoo is in its final year and continues to be a source of controversy
On Sunday, Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. Though the occasion is ostensibly about honoring Robinson's contributions to the game and society as a whole while preaching about the importance of tolerance and diversity, it's also become an annual excuse to sell new merchandise bearing Robinson's no. 42.
This year, the swag included a cap that also featured the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo.
The Wahoo logo is being phased out, as many know, with Cleveland announcing it would be removed entirely in time for the 2019 season -- convenient timing, considering the organization will host next summer's All-Star Game. At some point during the day, people in the league office seemed to realize that pairing Robinson -- who was denied entrance to the majors (among countless other places) due to racism -- with a logo that is being retired due to its insensitive portrayal of Native Americans was a bad idea. The cap was then yanked from the online store.
Here's more via Maury Brown of Forbes:
Notified of the product being for sale, the league pulled it from the site, said that it was mistake and had somehow slipped through the cracks. As Manfred had said at the beginning of the year about the upcoming change of the logo, the league said they are about a culture of inclusion and diversity in the game, and were sorry that the product had been available for sale.
The most generous take is that this was a clumsy oversight. The least is that Cleveland or the league will continue to seek ways to profit off the Wahoo logo in the name of maintaining their exclusive rights over the logo.
Neither is an encouraging or acceptable development.
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