Cleveland’s Baseball Team to Change Name 

Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians will be changing the team’s name after years of criticism and objections from Native American groups. The team has not officially announced the move, but multiple news organizations cited people familiar with the matter saying that could happen as early as this week. Cleveland had already taken the step of eliminating its use of a Native American caricature as the team’s logo during the 2019 season. In July, it pledged to examine the issue of the team name in light of local and national social justice protests. Renaming teams and ending the use of Indigenous mascots in both professional and scholastic sports in the United States have drawn praise from those saying their use is racist. The National Football League’s team in Washington changed its name this year, becoming the Washington Football Team after ending its use of the long-criticized Redskins name and logo. “Redskin” is a pejorative term for a Native American commonly used during America’s frontier period when settlers and Native Americans competed for land and resources. Such changes have drawn some criticism from people who defended the use of Indigenous names and imagery, and said the changes served to eliminate team history. President Donald Trump tweeted his objection to Cleveland’s change, calling it “Cancel culture at work!” Cleveland has used the Indians name since 1915.  It is not clear how quickly the name will be changed, or what the replacement will be. There are other high-profile teams that have faced calls to change their names, including baseball’s Atlanta Braves, football’s Kansas City Chiefs and the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks.  Each of those teams has said it has no plans to change its name. 


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