CLEVELAND -- Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson has chimed in on the news that the Cleveland Indians will remove the Chief Wahoo logo from their jerseys and uniforms starting in 2019.
In a statement, the fourth-term mayor said: “The decision by the Cleveland Indians to retire Chief Wahoo from team uniforms is wonderful news for the city. I applaud the team’s decision to show the city, nation and world that Cleveland is an inclusive place that values all diversity - in this case showing greater honor to our nation’s first people by retiring the Wahoo mascot from uniforms.”
On Monday, the Indians and Major League Baseball announced this coming season would be the team's last wearing the polarizing symbol. In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that the logo "was no longer appropriate for use on the field."
Manfred's full statement was as follows:
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game. 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. 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.”
Indians owner Paul Dolan, meanwhile, said: “We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion. While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I’m ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred’s desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019.”
Although the Indians will no longer be wearing the Chief Wahoo logo, the team will maintain the logo's trademark and retail rights, allowing it to sell products featuring the symbol at Progressive Field and throughout northern Ohio.