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MLB commissioner urging Indians to scrap Wahoo logo

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is urging the Cleveland Indians to stop using their

By Tom Withers Associated Press Published: April 13, 2017 4:00 AM
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CLEVELAND -- Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has made his strongest comments on wanting the Cleveland Indians to eradicate their Chief Wahoo logo.

Manfred has been in talks with Indians owner Paul Dolan about abolishing the divisive symbol, which has sparked debate for decades.

In the past, Manfred has only gone as far as saying he understood why many people find the logo offensive. Now, Manfred appears to be pressuring the Indians, who have reduced Wahoo's visibility in recent years, to make more significant changes.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that league officials are confident about reaching a positive resolution for the game and the club.

"Thus far, there have been productive discussions with the Cleveland Indians regarding the Commissioner's desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo," Courtney said. "We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress."

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On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside Progressive Field to demonstrate against the team's usage of the red-faced, smiling logo, which has been part of the team's history dating back to the 1940s.

The Indians have decreased Chief Wahoo's profile, switching their primary logo to a block "C'' several years ago. However, the symbol still appears on some of the sleeves of some of the team's uniforms and caps and the Indians have continued to sell Wahoo merchandise.

Some anti-Wahoo protesters want the team to change its nickname as well.

"We are people, not mascots, not logos, not imagery," said Carla Getz, a member of the Potawatomi Tribe. Getz was one of several dozen peaceful protesters that chanted for change on a plaza outside Tuesday's game.

There is also a sizeable contingent of Cleveland fans who understand the viewpoints of protesters, but cherish the logo and don't want the team buckle to pressure to abolish it.

The Indians were recently awarded the 2019 All-Star game, and a possible compromise could be the Wahoo logo being completely removed from uniforms.

Bob DiBiasio, the team's senior vice president for public affairs, said Dolan and Manfred have had ongoing dialogue since the World Series last year.

"We certainly understand the sensitivities of the logo, those who find it insensitive and also those fans who have a long standing attachment to its place in the history of the team," he said.

"We fully expect to work with the Commissioner throughout the remainder of this season on finding a solution that is good for the game and our organization," DiBiasio said. "Our primary focus right now is on the team and our pursuit of returning to the postseason."


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Another View Apr 13, 2017 1:34 PM

Irrespective of who it offends, it's the stupidest looking team logo in existence. Thought so when I was 6, think so now.

redleg6 Apr 13, 2017 11:48 AM

Leave the Chief Alone

From above:.."We are people, not mascots, not logos, not imagery," said Carla Getz, a member of the Potawatomi Tribe....

Carla and her group of "Indians" should protest the Pentagon.....

U.S. Millitary aircraft and missiles named after Naitive American Tribes, in service include the:

AH-64 Apache attack helicopter...

UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter...

UH-72 Lakota utility helicopter...

CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter...

OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopter, which the Army is considering retiring them...

OH-6 Cayuse observation helicopter...

TH-67 Creek trainer helicopter—the Army may retire them, too...

C-12 Huron transport aircraft...

RU-21 Ute electronic intelligence aircraft, a variant of the C-12...

BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile...

Retired U.S. Millitary aircraft:

UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopter, retired in 2011...

H-34 Choctaw transport helicopter, left service in early 1970s...

RU-8 Seminole utility aircraft, 1992...

H-21 Shawnee transport helicopter, 1967...

OV-1 Mohawk twin-engine observation aircraft, 1996...

T-41 Mescalero trainer aircraft, no longer in the Army but still flying for the Air Force...

***In accordance with Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 70-3, Army Regulation (AR) 70-50, and

Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 4210.15, Army helicopters are named for Native American tribes and

chiefs whose reputation and image add to the military bearing of the aircraft....

The regulation also requires contacting the tribe in question to ensure that they support using the name. ...

Some Army units also request that local tribes bless their helicopters with ceremonies.......

*** 4 Sept. 2012, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Lakota Nation performed a ceremony to give the LUH-72 Lakota good fortune....

The tribe also gave the unit honor feathers to place in the helicopter....

The tribe's chief, Joe Red Cloud, had this to say at the ceremony:

"We're pleased that you honor our tribe by naming this helicopter Lakota....

You are not only honoring our past, you are recognizing that we are still here, joint partners in the heritage of the promise of America.".......

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