Major League Baseball side Cleveland Indians are reportedly dropping their century-old nickname “Indians” and are on the process of changing it to a new one.
The Cleveland baseball team, who previously carried the nicknames ‘Blues’, ‘Broncos’ and ‘Naps’, adapted the ‘Indians’ nickname in 1915.
For decades, the name, as well as the club imagery and graphics, has irked the indigenous community, who deemed them insensitive and have been vocal about wanting the club to change them.
Cleveland responds to backlash from Native Americans for “Indians” moniker
Two years prior, the team had dropped their Chief Wahoo logo and unveiled new uniforms for the 2019 season. Now, on the heels of NFL team Washington dropping their former Redskins moniker, Cleveland has decided to take the same path and are on the process of changing their name, with an official announcement coming this week, as claimed by a source from the team to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports as well as The New York Times.
However, it has been developed that a new name will not immediately be decided and the team will continue to carry the Indians nickname through the 2021 MLB season, with a change speculated for 2022.
Soon after Washington’s name change back in July, the team originally hinted a name change, officially stating that they were “committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
A similar response was also recorded from the team manager Terry Francona. “I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful,” Francona said in July.
While Cleveland has responded to the backlash from the Native American community, there have been no such announcements from fellow MLB side Atlanta Braves, who faced criticism for promoting the famous “Tomahawk Chop” gesture.