TORONTO — Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro spent more than two decades working for the Cleveland Indians. He’ll “shed no tears” when the Chief Wahoo logo disappears from Indians uniforms next season.
The Indians are wearing grey road uniforms without the controversial logo on the left sleeve during their current four game series at Toronto.
During his time with the Indians, Shapiro played a lead role in establishing a block “C” as Cleveland’s logo.
“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,” said Shapiro, who joined Toronto in November, 2015. “I was happy to see it consistently get diminished, and I will shed no tears when it’s gone completely.”
In January, the Indians announced plans to remove the logo from their uniforms next year. The move came after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature used in one version or another since 1947 is racist.
That decision not to wear the controversial logo in Toronto was partly driven by a failed legal challenge against the Indians when they played north of the border during the 2016 American League Championship Series. During the playoffs, a lawsuit was filed while the club was playing in Toronto to get the logo and team name banned from Canadian TV. A judge dismissed the case.
Shapiro said he wasn’t especially moved by getting a first glimpse at how the Indians will look full-time next year.
“I’m focused on the Blue Jays,” Shapiro said. “I guess there’s a small part of me that kind of says ‘Good, it’s about time.'”
Cleveland will host the All-Star Game next season. The Indians will return to their regular uniforms when they visit Tampa Bay next week.