CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians announced Friday that they have initiated discussions regarding the possibility of changing the team’s name.
For years, the Indians name and the Chief Wahoo logo have come under fire as being “derogatory,” “racist,” and “offensive." The team took action in 2018, phasing out usage of the Chief Wahoo logo on-field and in-game but the name has remained in place.
The Indians issued a press release Friday evening regarding their plans to discuss the team name.
We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.
We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice.
With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.
While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.
In an ongoing poll on Twitter, 32% of voters have said the Indians should change their name while 68% of people have said they shouldn’t.
Question: Do you think the #Indians should change their name?— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) July 3, 2020
Baseball teams in Cleveland have gone by several names in their history, from the Cleveland Blues to the Cleveland Naps to the Cleveland Spiders. The name Indians was chosen based on a nickname the team was given during Louis Sockalexis’ time in Cleveland—one of the first players of Native American ancestry in the league.
The Indians' name discussions come on the heels of another team conducting a review of their team name, this one in the National Football League.
The Washington Redskins announced Friday that they are conducting a "thorough review" of the team's nickname — a day after two major corporations with ties to the team indicated that they'd like to see the name changed.