The Cleveland Indians’ longtime mascot Chief Wahoo is no more. Well, at least once 2019 comes around.
Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that the caricature, which many Native Americans find offensive, is “no longer appropriate for use on the field,” and will no longer be a part of the Indians’ logo starting in 2019. Though many have called for the removal of the mascot for years, the issue is a polarizing one in the city of Cleveland, not unlike the debate surrounding the Redskins in Washington.
Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper played second baseman for the Indians from 1974-81, and told Murph & Mac on Wednesday that not only does he support the removal of Chief Wahoo, he believes it should’ve happened long ago.
“Look, if this is very offensive to a lot of Native Americans then it’s got to go,” Kuiper said. “It’s that simple. I’m shocked that it hasn’t gone 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It’s probably simple math to figure out why they have to wait a year because you’ve got to get a bunch of new stuff, and that’s going to take a little time. So I get that. It’s going to go, and I think it’s obviously time to go and they probably should’ve done it a long time ago.”
“I’m glad it’s gone.”
Below is a portion of the statement the Indians released yesterday regarding their decision.
We have consistently maintained that we are cognizant and sensitive to both sides of the discussion. 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.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Kuip’s comments on Chief Wahoo, skip to 5:20.