Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor celebrates with teammate Jose Ramirez after he hit a lead off home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto on Thursday September 6, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill)

Indians drop chief logo for Canada stop in aftermath of controversy

Team didn’t comment, but indicated it’s ‘acknowledging increased sensitivity’ to image in Canada

The Cleveland Indians are giving fans a preview of their new-look uniforms this week in Toronto by dropping the Chief Wahoo image from their hats and uniforms.

A team spokesman declined comment on why the team made a change for its final series at Rogers Centre this season, only saying that an MLB.com website story on the development was factual.

“Acknowledging increased sensitivity to the Chief Wahoo image in Canada, the Indians … opted not to feature it during this series,” the story said.

The caricature of a First Nations man was the subject of controversy during the 2016 MLB playoffs in Toronto. Indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal filed a human rights complaint federally and provincially against the Indians, MLB and Rogers Communications — the owner of the Blue Jays — trying to stop Cleveland from using the logo during the 2016 American League Championship Series.

“We were very pleased to see that the team decided not to use the logo at the game in Toronto,” Lenczner Slaght lawyer Monique Jilesen, who has represented Cardinal, said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Jilesen said the parties have resolved the human rights proceedings and the court application.

READ MORE: South Asian hockey players in Lower Mainland face racism, other barriers, study says

The logo is something that has long bothered Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, who spent more than two decades as an Indians executive.

“I never said it when I was in Cleveland, but I struggled with Chief Wahoo from the day I got there in 1992 to the day I left,” Shapiro said Friday. “I was happy to see it consistently get diminished.

“I will shed no tears when it’s gone completely.”

The Indians announced plans last January to remove the logo from their uniforms completely beginning in 2019.

Chief Wahoo will return to the Indians’ uniforms on Monday at Tampa Bay and will remain for the rest of the season before being retired from on-field use.

Shapiro, who joined the Blue Jays in 2015 after 24 seasons with the Indians, played a lead role in establishing a block “C” as Cleveland’s logo. It replaced the cartoonish image of a big-toothed First Nations man with a scarlet face and single feather in his headdress.

Shapiro touched on the logo issue during an afternoon media availability.

“It doesn’t mean that much because I’m focused on the Blue Jays,” he said. “I guess there’s like a small part of me that kind of says, ‘Good. It’s about time.’”

MLB said the decision to scrap the logo came from the league’s commitment to “building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game.”

Longtime Blue Jays radio announcer Jerry Howarth, who retired in the off-season, made a point of not saying Cleveland’s nickname after a First Nations fan wrote to him explaining how hurtful the name and logo were to Indigenous people.

The Indians-Blue Jays series continues through Sunday.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment plan should be completed end of 2018

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District hopes to meet directly with the project team for a direct update

CRD opens survey on 2018 wildfire response and impacts

The CRD closed its emergency operations centre this week

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

Cody Dillabough drops out of race for Quesnel City Council

The deadline for the withdrawal of candidates is Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.

Calling all artists: the Quesnel Art Gallery is looking for submissions

It can take between 20 and 30 individual pieces to fill the gallery

WATCH: Correlieu students simulate driving heavy machinery

Local students given the chance to test out a career in the forestry industry

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read