CLEVELAND — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has discussed a possible solution to the club’s divisive Chief Wahoo logo with Indians owner Paul Dolan.
Manfred and Dolan have had multiple meetings on the touchy subject, including one on Friday that included Indians minority owner John Sherman, before the team announced it will host the 2019 All-Stare Game at Progressive Field.
The club has come under increased pressure to permanently remove the red-faced, smiling logo, which has been labeled offensive and racially insensitive.
Dolan said nothing has been resolved and he intends to meet again with Manfred, who would not divulge his preference for an outcome.
“I’m not going to speculate about what I want the end of the process to be,” Manfred said. “I think that Paul has been fantastic about engaging in conversations. I want those conversations to continue, and I think we’ll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball. What exactly that is, I don’t want to speculate right now.”
Manfred would not say if a timetable for a solution has been set.
When the Indians made the World Series last season, the national spotlight increased debate over the logo, and Manfred indicated he wanted the club to make a change.
“I know that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and all of us at Major League Baseball understand why,” Manfred said before Game 2.
The Indians have been slowly phasing out the Wahoo logo in recent years, replacing it with a block “C” logo on some of the team’s caps. However, the logo remains on the sleeves of some jerseys and hats.
While sensitive to the feelings of others, Dolan has stated in the past that Wahoo is part of the team’s history and legacy. There are others who see it as a symbol of civic pride, perhaps ignoring how the caricature of a Native American, can be viewed as demeaning.
Every season, protesters gather outside Progressive Field before the home opener to decry the team’s use of the logo. However, recently there have been an equal number of fans pushing to retain Wahoo, which the club has used in various forms since the 1940s.