In 1947, 17-year-old Walter Goldbach designed the first rendition of Chief Wahoo, which was commissioned by then-Indians owner Bill Veeck, the Plain Dealer reported. The Cleveland Indians will remove the controversial logo of a caricatured Indian brave's face as of the 2019 season, reports the AP.
In discussions spanning the past year, Major League Baseball had urged the team to remove the logo despite the wishes of numerous team's fans who want to keep it, the statement said. According to the New York Times, the league now considers the logo inappropriate for use in any official capacity, and pressed the team to do away with it once and for all.
He said the logo "is no longer appropriate for on-field use".
The NFL's Washington Redskins have come under similar pressure to change their Indian-head logo and their name but so far have resisted. "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", Manfred said.
"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion", Dolan said in a statement.
Several universities have changed the logos or nicknames of their athletic teams in recent years, and the Indians are not the only professional sports franchise to draw scrutiny. After the 1914 season, the name was changed to the Cleveland Indians to honor Louis Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot Tribal Nation who played for Cleveland from 1897-1899.
Chief Wahoo, the Cleveland Indians racist mascot, is dead.
"The decision by the Cleveland Indians to retire Chief Wahoo from team uniforms is wonderful news for the city". Many others, meanwhile, deem it to be a racially offensive carcitature of Native Americans.
In 2016, when Cleveland was facing the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series, activists in Canada sought an emergency court order barring Cleveland from using its team name and logo while playing games in Toronto, arguing that their usage violated Canadian human rights laws.
The team will continue to sell Chief Wahoo gear because if it stops doing so, it will lose ownership of the trademark, and others will be able to use the symbol as they please.
Still, it's better than nothing, although it sets the stage for every game in Cleveland this year to be a protest against eliminating the mascot.