MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has not been afraid to make changes to the league during his two years on the job. Now, he wants the Cleveland Indians to get rid of their red-faced logo.
Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, provided a statement to the New York Times saying the league is “making progress” in officially removing the cartoon image known as “Chief Wahoo” from all Indians apparel.
“We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,” Courtney said. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.”
Indians vice president for public affairs Bob DiBiasio expressed a willingness to work with the league to find a solution that satisfies both the MLB and Cleveland fans.
“We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo, those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a longstanding attachment to its place in the history of the team,” DiBiasio said in the Times article.
Chief Wahoo has appeared on Indians’ uniforms since 1947, but claims in recent years that the caricature is offensive to Native Americans have reduced its appearance around Progressive Field, the team’s home ballpark. Although the logo has effectively been erased from the building itself, it remains on the players’ sleeves and caps for certain games.
Manfred has already proposed several significant rule changes since replacing Bud Selig as MLB commissioner in 2015, one of which resulted in the elimination of intentional walks. If he remains this aggressive in his stance against Chief Wahoo, the longtime logo could be gone for good.