Cleveland Indians remove Chief Wahoo from uniforms for series in Toronto

Cleveland lowered its magic number to 7 in the AL Central with its win over Toronto on Thursday. (AP Photo)
Cleveland lowered its magic number to 7 in the AL Central with its win over Toronto on Thursday. (AP Photo)

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, 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.

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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