Cleveland Indians To Adopt New Name

By Ben Hamill - December 15 2020

Cleveland Indians To Adopt New Name

The MLB’s Cleveland Indians have decided to change their name. They don’t yet know to what, or when, but according to owner Paul Dolan, the time for change has come.

Dolan on Monday told members of the press that the name the American League MLB franchise has been known by since 1915 is no longer appropriate or acceptable and is regarded by Native Americans to be an example of a racist reference. Dolan also said that until a new name has been chosen, the team will continue to be called the Indians – a moniker he says he expects will remain “as is” at least through next season.

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No Interim Name Will Apply

The team will be known by its current name in 2021, said Dolan, but after that will a new name and brand will hopefully have been identified. The important thing to keep in mind is that a complete renaming and rebranding of any team or brand is a lengthy and complex process, said the team owner, which is why it’s important to refrain from doing something simply for the sake of “doing it”. Instead, management will take the time required to see the process through in the correct way, he said.

Cleveland’s decision follows a similar one made by the NFL’s Washington Football team – previously called the “Redskins”. Dolan however said that Cleveland will not be adopting an interim name such as the Cleveland Baseball Team or any other temporary moniker. Instead, a new name will be chosen in due time and will hopefully be the name to take the franchise through many more centuries.

A Decision Welcomed By Most

Native American groups consulted by the club have in the meantime welcomed the decision, saying that the hope is that the team’s decision will act as an inspiration and a blueprint for other professional teams – and even amateur and semi-professional teams existing in the Ohio area.

Most commendable of all, said Cynthia Connolly, who is an executive board member of the Lake Erie Native American Council (Cleveland Indigenous Coalition), is that the team actually made a real effort to listen and take to heart that which they had heard and learnt from the consultations and discussions.

Though many Indians fans have expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision, Dolan said he considered the move necessary because of the impact that the racist connotation has had on so many people.

The team previously removed the controversial Chief Wahoo emblem from their caps and jerseys.

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