There has been a growing push in recent years for the Cleveland Indians to stop using the Native American caricature logo known as Chief Wahoo on their uniforms and in their stadium. Team owner Paul Dolan promised to start moving away from the logo in 2016, but Wahoo was prominently displayed on the team’s uniform during the 2016 and 2017 playoffs, with the team almost winning the World Series in the former year.
With Indians legend Jim Thome recently being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a statement has been released indicating that his plaque will use the modern “Block C” logo instead of Chief Wahoo.
Hall of Fame Statement on Jim Thome’s Plaque Logo: pic.twitter.com/q6hIWwF1vn
— Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_HOF) March 21, 2018
Thome specifically requested this when it was revealed he was voted into the Hall of Fame back in February.
“I know my decision would be to wear the ‘C’ because I think it’s the right thing to do,” Thome said. “I think I need to have a conversation with the Hall of Fame because of all the history and everything involved. I just think that’s the right thing to do.”
“I fully support the way the Indians, through this week, have made the decision that they’ve made,” he said. “And that’s what I support.”
There are 14 other Indians players in the Hall of Fame, but only one of them has Chief Wahoo in his plaque:
Put it this way: Only one of Cleveland's 14 other Hall of Famers even has any form of Wahoo on his hat in the first place. Who needs Thome to add to it? pic.twitter.com/sxKgOQf5JU
— Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA) February 3, 2018
The team has announced that they will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo starting in 2019, and there is speculation that they only agreed to stop as a condition for being awarded the 2019 MLB All-Star Game. Despite removing it from their uniform, they said they would still sell select merchandise bearing the logo in an effort to retain the copyright.