Professional team ditching ‘racist’ name
The Cleveland Indians will soon be no more.
Following in the path of the Washington Football Team, Cleveland has decided to remove its nickname many consider racist and insensitive, the New York Times reported Sunday.
An official announcement could come as soon as this week, according to the outlet.
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The 105-year-old "Indians" moniker has for decades drawn ire from Native American groups, and those frustrations became more prevalent with the U.S. in the midst of a reckoning on racism and social injustice following police shootings involving unarmed black men and women.
Two months after the May death of George Floyd, Cleveland joined the Washington Football Team in saying it would consider changing the nickname.
"We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality," the team said in July, regarding the possibility of the name-change. "Our organisation fully recognises our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community."
Just over a week after Cleveland's announcement, the Washington Football Team retired its use of the name "Redskins," following pressure from sponsors.
The football team has not yet selected a replacement nickname because it didn't have enough time to rebrand the franchise before the season began in September.
The baseball team's plans moving forward were not immediately clear. The season begins in April.
While the ongoing social unrest sped up the process, it seemed to be a matter of time before the American League team dropped the name.
In the beginning of the 2019 season the team began phasing out its "Chief Wahoo" mascot, a caricature that had long-been criticised. The emblem was replaced by a block "C," but calls to change the name continued.
Fans have been quick to land on a new name for the major league baseball team.
So I guess the @Indians will be called the Cleveland Baseball Team in 2021? I think they should just go with the Spiders to make it old school but that’s just me— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) December 14, 2020
Other North American professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Blackhawks, have recently said they don't plan on changing their names, which some also consider insensitive.
In August, though, the Chiefs banned its fans from wearing Native American headdresses and face paint.
Cleveland adopted its controversial nickname in 1915, having previously been named the Bluebirds, Broncos and Naps.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.
Originally published as Professional team ditching 'racist' name
Cleveland Baseball Team?— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) December 14, 2020
“One option that the team is considering, two of the people said, is moving forward without a replacement name — similar to how the Washington Football Team proceeded — then coming up with a new name in consultation with the public” https://t.co/61qMAjYgKZ