Lawyer for Indigenous activist applauds Indians for removing logo


TORONTO — The Cleveland Indians’ decision not to use their Chief Wahoo logo in Toronto on Thursday night was applauded by a lawyer representing an Indigenous activist.

“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 Douglas Cardinal, said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Cardinal filed a human rights complaint federally and provincially against the Indians, Major League Baseball and Rogers Communications — the owners of the Toronto Blue Jays — trying to stop Cleveland from using the logo during the 2016 American League Championship Series.

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

The Indians removed the controversial caricature of a First Nations man prior to the opener of a four-game series against the Blue Jays.

Players wore a navy blue cap with a red C on it and the red-skinned, feather-wearing cartoon was removed from its usual spot on the left sleeve of their grey away jerseys

The move comes nine months after Cleveland announced that it would no longer use the logo starting with the 2019 season.

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

Long-time 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 resumes in Toronto on Friday night.

The Canadian Press