The days of Chief Wahoo, the idiotically racist logo that the Indians have shamelessly used for 70 years, may be coming to a close. In a statement provided to The New York Times, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that he has expressed his "desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo" in talks with Cleveland's ownership. "We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress," the statement continued. "We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club."
The mealy-mouthed, abstractly corporate language here-"desire to transition away," "specific steps in an identified process"-makes this feel less like an actual move forward and more like Manfred reminding us all that he's serious about doing something here and that he's right on it, he swears. After all, the process (as it were) of removing Chief Wahoo feels pretty one-step. What possible preparation and planning would need to go into "Stop using the racist logo" is beyond me, but I'm not in charge of a team or the league, so maybe there are actual wheels and levers that need to be manipulated so as to achieve a "positive resolution" when it comes to ending the degradation of an entire race of people.
Nonetheless, what's so flummoxing about Chief Wahoo's continued (if now threatened) existence is just how theoretically easy it would be to find something-anything-better than a Sambo-esque redface caricature to represent the Indians. In a telling recognition of what Wahoo actually is, Cleveland turned to a red block C as its new primary logo back in 2014, though the team continues to trot out Chief Wahoo on its merchandise and on its players (who chose to wear Wahoo instead of the C during the playoffs because they thought he was good luck, if you want further proof of how cartoonish depictions marginalize ethnic groups into abstract symbols without humanity, rights or feelings).
And while the genesis of the Chief Wahoo problem probably lies with the fact that the Indians are called, well, the Indians, there exist plenty of options for logos that are both fun and family-friendly and also not insulting to one of the most brutalized ethnic groups in the world. For example: the two very good dogs of Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.
- Francisco Lindor (@Lindor12BC) April 12, 2017
There's a lot going on here, from the fact that one dog is much bigger than the other to the fact that the smaller dog has that perpetual look of puppy confusion on its face, like a person wandering into a conversation between people speaking a language that he can't understand. But most important is just how damn cute these dogs are, and by extension how good they are (answer: very; they are very good dogs). Not to steal the shtick of popular Twitter account Dog Rates, but I'd give these puppers a 14/10.
Paco and Junior (or, as Lindor so wonderfully dubbed them, "La Familia") deserve to be recognized far more than a leering racist cartoon. So let's put them on the hats and shirts and everything else instead of Wahoo. That's a positive resolution everyone can get behind.