Wyatt Cushman, Staff Writer |
Over the last several years, the Cleveland Indians have become one of the most successful teams in the Major League Baseball (MLB). In 2016, the Indians made their first World Series appearance in over a decade, eventually losing to the Cubs in an epic seventh game. This past year they lost another winner-take-all playoff game, this time to the New York Yankees in the fifth game of their Divisional Series.
With the offseason still in full swing for the baseball world, the Indians have lost something more than just a game. They recently decided to change their longtime logo featuring Chief Wahoo. The Indians logo is based on a cartoon character and has been the franchise’s logo since the 1948 season. Starting in 2019, it will no longer appear on jerseys of the team.
This has long been a topic of debate among sports teams of all levels. One team that comes to mind is the Washington Redskins of the NFL. Their logo has been debated for years now, and many people have protested because they find the logo and nickname offensive. The same goes for the Indians and their franchise.
Many people have rejected their longtime logo and have asked them to change it. This includes MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has continuously expressed his desire for the Indians to make the change, saying he believes it would be in the best interest of the franchise to promote diversity and inclusion. Now Manfred, along with many others, have gotten their wish.
Although the commissioner and the Indians organization agreed the change would benefit the majority, not all agree, especially the loyal fans of the Indians. For fans, sometimes everything about your team makes you love them; from their jersey style, to that one player you just can’t imagine playing for someone else. For some people the logo makes a significant difference and is special in some way. People who have been fans for 50, even 60 years have known the Chief Wahoo logo to be their favorite team’s logo. What they have come to know and love will be no more, they will have to learn to accept this new reality.
Although the logo is gone, some say that is not enough and believe the team’s nickname should also be changed. Obviously, if the logo, which is based on the name, is deemed offensive, then people will also think the team name is offensive. How long will it be before the Indians officially change their name too? How long until they are told by Commissioner Rob Manfred that they must change their team name? Will this string of events force a team like the Washington Redskins or even the Atlanta Braves to give in to long time desires, that they too change their nicknames and logos? None of us can know for sure, but we do know that this is a very monumental event and will most likely lead to more changes in the near future.