Cleveland Indians remove Chief Wahoo from uniforms for series in Toronto

The Cleveland Indians are slated to end the use of the infamous Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms next season, and they provided a little preview how that’s going to look Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cleveland took the field with relatively little fanfare, but some observers soon noticed that the team happened to be playing in uniforms completely devoid of the racist caricature the team has used as a logo since 1951. Wearing their block “C” logo on their hats and helmets and sporting plain sleeves, the Indians proceeded to win 9-4 against the Blue Jays .

Per MLB.com, the team will go back to using its Wahoo uniforms during their next series in Tampa Bay and will continue to use the logo for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

Cleveland faced past blowback over Wahoo in Toronto

Ditching Wahoo for a single series in Toronto wasn’t a random choice for the team, as it faced a legal challenge in the Canadian court system in 2016 to ban the team’s name and mascot from Toronto for the American League Championship series. While that legal challenge was unsuccessful, it seems to have left enough of an impression for Cleveland to decide it won’t need the logo while it’s in Canada.

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'Chief Wahoo' mascot celebrated by Cleveland fans
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'Chief Wahoo' mascot celebrated by Cleveland fans
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY, 26: A fan waits in line for concessions at Progressive Field on July 26 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Dustin Franz for the Washington Post)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 5: Cleveland Indians fans hold up Chief Wahoo signs prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox the opening day game at Progressive Field on April 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25: A fan holds up two Chief Wahoo heads during Game 1 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by LG Patterson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY, 26: Tray Gabriel, 25 of Youngstown, cheers for the Indians dressed as a Native American during the July 26th game against the Nationals at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Dustin Franz for the Washington Post)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- APRIL 17: A Cleveland Indians hat with Chief Wahoo against the Minnesota Twins on April 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 3-1. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Sep 12, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians fans celebrate the team's 20th consecutive win after defeating the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: A Cleveland Indians fan looks on before an MLB game between the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 21, 2017 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Cleveland Indians ending use of Wahoo in 2019

The Chief Wahoo logo, a racist cartoon of a marginalized people used to sell hats, has been under fire for decades. Cleveland had been slowly moving away from using the logo in recent years, but the team will hit endgame next season when it uses a set of uniforms completely devoid of their longtime logo.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred called the logo “no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball” in a statement announcing the decision, but the team was still given one more season to wear uniforms with the cartoon.

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