The name change of the Ohio MLB team follows decades of protests by Native American groups, calling it harmful stereotypes.
Cleveland’s Major League Baseball baseball team will change its name from the Indians to the Guardians starting next season. It said on Twitter on Friday that it had previously pledged to abandon a Native American considered derogatory. name.
The club posted a video narrated by actor Tom Hanks on Twitter and announced the name change. The decision ended months of internal discussions initiated by agencies and teams across the country to permanently remove signs and names deemed racist.
The team has been known as Indians for more than 100 years and started looking for a new name in December.
The organization has been shrinking a list of potential names for most of the past year. Just over a month ago, the list was nearly 1,200. But this process quickly accelerated and the club landed on Guardians.
Team owner Paul Dolan said that the social unrest caused by George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis last summer prompted him to change his name.
Together, we are all… pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I
-Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
Before the Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays, Dolan is expected to provide more details on the options and background of this change at the Progressive Field press conference.
In 2018, Indians no longer wear the controversial Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and hats. However, the team continued to sell products with smiling, red-faced comics, which Native American groups have protested for decades.
The name change sparked a heated debate among the city’s enthusiastic sports fans. Other names, including the team’s former name Spider, were pushed by supporters on social media platforms.
But the Guardians do seem to fit the team’s goal of finding a name that embodies the spirit of Cleveland while preserving the team’s history and uniting the community.
Not far from the baseball stadium in the city center, there are two large landmark stone buildings on the Cuyahoga Memorial Bridge on the Cuyahoga River-known as the Guardians.