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Why did the Cleveland Indians rename?

The Cleveland Indians have chosen to change their name following months of discussion sparked by the death of George Floyd and a national reckoning with racial and colonial injustice. Team owner Paul Dolan made the decision on Monday after talking with the team’s supporters, players, local and national Native American groups, Cleveland civic leaders, commercial sponsors, and leading Native American scholars.


Paul Dolan Announcement

Paul Dolan pens a letter to Indian supporters According to Dolan, “our responsibility is to unite the community.” Numerous residents of this city are outraged or upset by our moniker, and our franchise has no business utilizing such a name.

This decision follows a similar move by the Washington Football Team of the National Football League. Until a new name is chosen and several branding and trademarking issues are resolved, Cleveland’s baseball team will continue to use the name it has used since 1915, Indians, in contrast to the Washington Football Team.

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The team has not determined a precise date, but a new name will be implemented no later than 2022. Nonetheless, he made it plain that the team will not adopt its unofficial nickname, the Tribe, as its official appellation. Dolan did not confirm any alternative names or concepts that were being investigated internally. According to Dolan, the Indians won’t be far behind. There will be no Native American-themed names utilized.

Native American organizations and others have long resisted the use of Indigenous names and symbols by professional and amateur sports teams. Cleveland removed the controversial Chief Wahoo graphic off their helmets and jerseys before to the 2019 season, but still owns the rights to it and continues to sell merchandise with the emblem.

Result

Dolan said on Monday that the team has chosen to donate all revenues from the sale of Chief Wahoo merchandise to groups that serve the Native American community as a result of discussions around the name. Dolan stated in a statement in July, shortly after Washington’s intention to change its name became known, that Cleveland will evaluate “the best way forward with our club name.”

Dolan had previously asserted that there was no need to change the team’s name at the time of the Chief Wahoo decision. Dolan and the organization were compelled to reassess the 2020 events, however. According to Dolan, this year’s most significant developments were George Floyd’s passing and the understanding that our world has changed. “That made me question whether we should continue to refer to ourselves as Indians in this new world and what our future holds.

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It was agreed merely to respond to the inquiry; that was not the alternative. We set out to discover the solution to the problem by contacting many regional and national organizations. Through a variety of channels, we communicated with the entire community.

Even though many of us who grew up with the name felt it to be nothing more than the name of our team and that it was not intended to offend anyone, especially Native Americans, this was hurting those individuals.

The Council of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance, the Lake Erie Native American Council, the American Indian Movement of Ohio, and the Lake Erie Professional Branch of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society all advocated openly for a name change in the region. Dolan said that support for a name change was as high among civic personalities who assist the underprivileged.


Final Words

Dolan, a fifth-generation Clevelander, recognized that many fans do not approve of the team’s decision. If we can perform that function with a name like Indians,” the author said.

According to Dolan, even when a new name is selected, the team will continue to honor its extensive heritage as the Indians. During the “difficult and complex” process of selecting a new name, the team will continue to connect with the community.

According to Dolan, evading Indians will not be straightforward. “We acknowledge that this transition will be difficult for many individuals. But I think we will eventually accept the concept of altering our name. We hope that it will be a name that the community can embrace and that will last longer than 105 years.


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