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One of the core considerations to keep in mind when designing a logo is the racial, religious, and cultural sensitivities of the audience. This is a lesson Major Baseball League took eight good decades to learn. The Cleveland Indians, a team that has been sporting the Native American mascot logo since 1947, has finally decided to drop the iconic Indian-head logo. As popular as it was, the Chief Wahoo racist logo received a lot of criticism, especially from the Native American groups.
Starting from 2019, the team will be seen wearing a different uniform sans the Wahoo Logo. We will be seeing a new logo, which has yet to be designed and confirmed. It took a whole year of discussions and negotiations between Commissioner Rob Manfred and several Indian groups, and MLB has finally decided to honor the wishes and sentiments of the natives.
Mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson has applauded the decision to change the primary logo. According to him, it portrays Cleveland and as a city that truly respects the diversity.
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For years, the red colored Chief Wahoo logo was bashed not just for being racist but also for being one of the ugliest logos in the history of sport. During 2016 American League Championship Series, the Cleveland Indians faced a legal dispute in Canada. Under the Canadian Law, the logo was offensive to the indigenous people of the region. However, the team was ultimately allowed display their logo during their match with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The decision is expected to compel a number of other teams to make a similar decision. The Cleveland Indians are not the only ones with a racist logo. Atlanta Braves, another MLB team and the Chicago Blackhawks from the National Hockey League are considering a new primary logo for a similar reason.
For now, the Wahoo logo will be used on the Cleveland Indian’s franchise sold on various stores across the region. On their uniforms, however, they might be displaying the letter ‘C’ until there is a new logo to replace the Indian-head logo.