The MLB’s Cleveland Indians are looking to change their name following a similar controversy with the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
“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 a statement posted to Twitter. “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 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,” the statement continued. “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,” the statement concluded.
The Athletic reported that the team will consider a new name after consultations with the Native American community, staff, players, and fans. The team name was changed to the Indians in 1915, The New York Post reported. Previously, they were known as the Bluebirds, Broncos, and the Naps.
As The Daily Wire reported in January 2018, the Indians scrubbed their controversial mascot, Chief Wahoo, from uniforms and merchandise prior to the 2019 MLB season. The mascot had been part of the team since 1948.
“The Indians say the change has been in the works for some time, though they did not meet the deadline to have the mascot removed from the 2018 regulation uniforms, which must go into mass production before Spring Training begins in February. This season, fans will notice a scaled back Chief Wahoo presence, and he’ll be totally scrubbed by the beginning of the 2019 season,” The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported at the time.
Chief Wahoo had been the subject of numerous complaints prior to that season, but after the team appeared in and lost the 2016 World Series, and then participated in the 2017 playoffs, MLB management started pressuring the team to change the mascot. When the decision to remove Chief Wahoo was made, Rob Manfred, MLB commissioner of baseball, issued a statement saying he was delighted the team “ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball.”
The team replaced Chief Wahoo with a block letter “C” instead.
The move to change the team name comes after the Redskins announced a “thorough review” of its name, The Daily Wire previously reported.
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