Indians chairman and chief executive Paul Dolan echoed Manfred's explanation of the decision-making process.
The beet red, smiling caricature of a Native American has always been a thorn in the side of those who consider it offensive and racist, with Major League Baseball finding it was no longer appropriate for a team to wear uniforms including Chief Wahoo. 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.
Though the team's ownership long resisted calls to end their use of the logo, the franchise nevertheless had taken steps in recent years to prepare for the possibility that Major League Baseball would make the decision for them.
The Indians announced the change on Monday.
"Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game", said Commissioner Manfred.
"We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion", said Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan. Last year, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case made it clear that the Redskins name can not be stripped of trademark protection just because some find it offensive. 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.
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The Cleveland Indians are finally parting ways with their Chief Wahoo logo.
The NFL's Washington Redskins have faced longstanding pressure to change their team name, which critics cite as offensive to Native Americans.
"Chief Wahoo" is out in Cleveland.
National criticism and scrutiny over Chief Wahoo grew in 2016, when the Indians made the World Series and Manfred expressed his desire to have the team drop the symbol.
Every year, groups of Native Americans and their supporters have protested outside the stadium before the home opener in hopes of not only getting the team to abolish Chief Wahoo but to change the Indians' nickname, which they feel is an offensive depiction of their race.
"The decision by the Cleveland Indians to retire Chief Wahoo from team uniforms is wonderful news for the city". That court case was dismissed by a judge. Though it won't be for sale on merchandise through Major League Baseball and it won't appear on jerseys, caps, or in Progressive Field where the Indians play, items with the logo will still be available locally, in stores across northern OH and in the team's shop.