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A SMILING reminder of lazy summer days. An ugly depiction of racism.
Beloved by some, reviled by others.
Chief Wahoo, the grinning, wide-eyed, feather-wearing logo that has divided baseball fans and even families in Cleveland, was ejected from the game on Monday night.
Major League Baseball said that, starting in the 2019 season, the Indians will no longer have the polarising Wahoo logo used by the club since 1947 on their jersey sleeves or caps.
Following discussions over the past year between Commissioner Rob Manfred and team owner Paul Dolan, the sides agreed that the cartoonish caricature is “no longer appropriate for on-field use.”
It’s being applauded as a significant step by some Native American groups, who hope the move pushes other major league franchises, such as the NFL Washington Redskins, to abolish logos or change nicknames deemed offensive.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Philip Yenyo, executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio.
While Yenyo was elated when he was informed of Wahoo’s diminishing status, he also expressed deep disappointment that the Indians will continue to wear the logo during the upcoming season and sell merchandise featuring the big-toothed emblem.
“I don’t understand why they’re drawing this out,” Yenyo said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me, unless they want to continue to make what’s basically blood money. Just make the leap already.”
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