CLEVELAND– It is the end of an era for Indians fans as Chief Wahoo made his last appearance on team uniforms on Monday. While the logo won’t be on jerseys and hats, it is not the end of Chief Wahoo for good in Cleveland.
“It’s going to be sad to see him go. It’s been our staple of our city for years and years. I grew up with Wahoo,” said one Indians fan after leaving the ballpark on Monday.
“Next year, we are doing it with or without the Chief. Love the Chief. He is part of our history,” said another fan.
The Indians and Major League Baseball announced in January that Chief Wahoo would be removed from team uniforms effective with the 2019 season. A limited amount of Chief Wahoo merchandise can be bought and is on display at the Indians team shop in downtown.
“The answer to this problem is not less Wahoo, it’s no Wahoo,” said Josh Hunt of the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance. “It’s completely get rid of Wahoo, especially because it is causing native Americans and native youth a lot of harm.”
“They are going to be selling it and to me, that is making money off of someone else’s culture and actually in my opinion, it’s blood money,” said Philip Yenyo, Executive Director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio.
You won’t find Chief Wahoo merchandise on MLB’s website, but the Indians do maintain the ownership of the trademark.
In January’s joint release, Indians owner Paul Dolan said, “While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I’m ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred’s desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019.”