The Chief Wahoo logo was prominently displayed at the Cleveland Indians' home opener Tuesday, but that might not be the case in the near future.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is increasing the pressure on the team to abandon the caricature, The New York Times reported, and there are signs of progress on that front.
While the logo remained on the caps and uniform sleeves of Indians players Tuesday night, the Times noted it was not evident anywhere else around Progressive Field. While the uniforms remain the most visible use of the logo, an MLB spokesman said Manfred has made it clear to the team he wants the Indians to "transition" away from the logo.
“We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,’’ spokesman Pat Courtney told the Times in a statement. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.’’
Native American groups and others have advocated for the elimination of the logo for years, saying the caricature of a smiling Indian is offensive. While the team has used it less in recent years, Indians senior vice president for public affairs Bob DiBiasio said there is still a balance to be struck between the two sides.
“We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo, those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a longstanding attachment to its place in the history of the team,” DiBiasio told the Times.