The New York Times reports that the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team name, and could announce their new plans as soon as this week.
EXCLUSIVE: For the past 105 years, the team was called the Indians. That will be no more as Cleveland has decided to change its name. Announcement from team could come as early as this week. w/@DavidWaldstein https://t.co/Nnw2nAoKcJ
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) December 14, 2020
Following years of protests from fans and Native American groups, the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team name, moving away from a moniker that has long been criticized as racist, three people familiar with the decision said Sunday.
In July, the Washington NFL franchise announced — following the pressure of sponsors — that they were retiring their racist team name, and they’re going by the “Washington Football Team” for at least the 2020 season.
Following the announcement of Washington reviewing its team name, the Cleveland baseball franchise announced in July that they too would consider a team name change: “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.”
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 4, 2020
One source tells The New York Times that Cleveland “planned to keep the Indians name and uniforms for the 2021 season while working to shift away from it as early as 2022.”
Additionally, The New York Times reports that Cleveland is considering going without an official replacement name for the time being, like the Washington Football Team.
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.
Cleveland has had the Indians as its team name since 1915. The franchise (finally) abandoned the Chief Wahoo logo ahead of the 2019 season.