Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has had "productive discussions" with the Cleveland Indians over the team’s usage of the Chief Wahoo logo.
Chief Wahoo -- a caricature described as “bigoted” and “despicable” by the Cleveland American Indian Movement as recently as last month -- has been a source of controversy, as sports teams have been urged to abandon mascots and team names with Native American themes. While the Indians have moved away from the logo in favor of a “C” on the team hats in recent seasons, Chief Wahoo still appears on the sleeve, and the team sells items with the logo on it.
The New York Times was the first outlet to report that there has been progress in discussions between MLB’s front office and the Indians.
“Thus far, there have been productive discussions with the Cleveland Indians regarding the commissioner’s desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo,” MLB spokesperson Pat Courtney said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. “We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress. We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.”
Indians spokesperson Bob DiBiasio said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports that team ownership and Manfred will work “throughout the remainder of this season on finding a solution that is good for the game and our organization.”
“Commissioner Rob Manfred and Indians owner Paul Dolan have had ongoing dialogue on the topic of Chief Wahoo since last October,” DiBiasio said. “We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo ... and also those fans who have a longstanding attachment to its place in the history of the team.”
Canadian architect and activist Douglas Cardinal unsuccessfully sought an injunction in a Canadian court to bar the usage of both “Indians” and Chief Wahoo during the American League Championship Series last October.