'Divisive and hotly debated, the Chief Wahoo logo is being removed from the Cleveland Indians’ uniform next year.
The polarizing mascot is coming off the team’s jersey sleeves and caps starting in the 2019 season, a move that will end Chief Wahoo’s presence on the field but may not completely silence those who deem it racist.
The Associated Press was informed of the decision before an official announcement was planned for Monday by Major League Baseball.
After lengthy discussions between team owner Paul Dolan and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, the Indians are taking the extraordinary step of shelving the big-toothed, smiling, red-faced caricature, which has been used in used in various expressions by the team since 1947.
However, the American League team will continue to wear the Wahoo logo on its uniform sleeves and caps in 2018, and the club will still sell merchandise featuring the mascot in Northeast Ohio. The team must maintain a retail presence so that MLB and the Indians can keep ownership of the trademark.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” Manfred said in a statement. “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.'
Read more: Indians Removing Chief Wahoo Logo from Game Uniforms in 2019
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