Rob Manfred, Indians Had Meeting to Discuss Chief Wahoo Logo

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2017

In this April 8, 2014 photo, the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo logo is shown on the uniform sleeve of third base coach Mike Sarbaugh during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in Cleveland. Ohio state senator Eric Kearney says it's time for the Indians to drop their offensive name and Chief Wahoo mascot. Kearney, a Democrat from Cincinnati, introduced a resolution that if passed by the Legislature would encourage the baseball team to adopt a new name and mascot. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Mark Duncan/Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo continues to be a source of controversy, and the team's ownership and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred have been discussing the use of the symbol.

According to T.J. Zuppe of 92.3 The Fan (h/t CBS Cleveland), Manfred talked at his latest meeting with Cleveland owner Paul Dolan about the mascot.  

"I'm not going to speculate about what I want the end of the process to be," Manfred said. "I think that (Indians owner Paul Dolan) has been fantastic about engaging, including a conversation this morning with Paul and (minority investor) John Sherman. I want those conversations to continue, and I think we'll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball. What exactly that is, I don't want to speculate right now."

Manfred was in Cleveland on Friday as part of MLB's official announcement that Progressive Field will serve as host for the 2019 All-Star festivities. He didn't speculate on a potential timetable for if/when Wahoo would be eliminated, only saying the discussions remain ongoing.

Chief Wahoo has been a key talking point for years among fans and analysts. There's been an outcry for the Cleveland franchise to dump the logo, with Jon Tayler of Sports Illustrated writing during the team's World Series appearance last October it was time to get rid of Wahoo.

"The use of Chief Wahoo—essentially a red-faced Sambo figure, no different than the horrific blackface visages that were commonplace in the 19th century—normalizes racist attitudes toward American Indians," he wrote. "It dehumanizes a group of people who have, since the first days of colonization and Western exploration, been brutalized and marginalized with unimaginable cruelty."

Per David Waldstein of the New York Times, during the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jaysindigenous Canadian activist Douglas Cardinal attempted to get a court injunction banning Cleveland from wearing uniforms with the Indians nickname or Chief Wahoo logo on it for games in Toronto. 

Prior to Game 2 of the World Series, Manfred told ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike (h/t Lindsey Adler of Deadspin) he understands Chief Wahoo is "offensive to some people, and I understand why" and added he planned to meet with Dolan to discuss what to do about it for the future.

After it was reported that Cleveland was going to host the All-Star Game in two years, ESPN's Keith Law felt giving the city a marquee event should be predicated on eliminating the logo. 

The Indians have phased Chief Wahoo down in their marketing and some merchandise, opting to use a block C as their primary logo back in 2014. Wahoo still appears on the team's home hats and on the sleeve of their jerseys.


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