The Cleveland Indians have officially distanced themselves from the controversial Chief Wahoo logo since the end of the 2018 MLB season and have begun the process of changing the club’s name viewed as racist by many outsiders.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) and Daryl Ruiter of Cleveland sports radio station 92.3 The Fan, Cleveland’s baseball team has now banned fans from wearing headdresses or Native American-themed face paint at Progressive Field.
“Abusive or inappropriate language or conduct deemed disorderly, unruly or disruptive including inappropriate dress may constitute grounds for ejection or refusal of admission,” reads a policy shared by the team. “This includes headdresses and face paint styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions. Inappropriate or offensive images, words, dress or face paint must be covered or removed, and failure to do so may constitute grounds for ejection or refusal of admission.”
Fans can still wear merchandise, including caps and shirts, that feature Chief Wahoo. Face paint that is deemed inoffensive, such as a depiction of the mascot Slider, is still permitted.
While Cleveland could have a new name by 2022, the franchise elected to not follow in the footsteps of Washington’s NFL organization and temporarily name itself the “Cleveland Baseball Team/Club” for the upcoming season. Owner Paul Dolan previously told the AP that Cleveland’s new name will not include “Native American themes or connotations.”