The Cleveland Indians will soon be altering Major League Baseball history.
This proud franchise who since 1915, have gone by the team name Indians have recently announced that they are now ready to make a change.
“The name is no longer acceptable in our world,” Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan said in reference to ‘Indians. ‘We’ll be the Indians in 2021, and then after that, it’s a difficult and complex process to identify a new name and do all the things you do around activating that name. We are going to work at as quick a pace as we can while doing it right.” Dolan also added, “But we’re not going to do something just for the sake of doing it. We’re going to take the time we need to do it right.”
Cleveland Indians baseball embarked on a new chapter when in 1994, they began playing at Jacobs Field which years later was re-named Progressive Field. When the club opened Jacobs field, they were discussing whether they should eliminate the famous “Chief Wahoo” club logo, but decided not to. Years later there was a change as Dolan announced on January 29, 2018 that the Indians franchise will no longer use the “Chief Wahoo” logo on their uniforms.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the Club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team. Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan’s acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.”
The team continued to keep the “Chief Wahoo” trademark, the team on limited merchandise to use the logo.
During summer of 2020, the world was struggling with not only COVID-19 but also tremendous civil unrest which eventually led to both the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians publicly declaring that they would consider changing their team name. Washington was one of a few sports teams who eventually decided to change their team name, while the Indians were getting encouraged by manager Terry Francona and star shortstop Francisco Lindor to follow suit.
“I think it’s time to move forward. I’ve been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement,” Francisco said. “I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name of the ‘Chief Wahoo’, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful.”
Making more news, on Sunday, December 13, 2020, the New York Times reported that the Cleveland Indians have decided that starting after the 2021 season, they will be officially getting rid of the Indians team name which they have had since 1915.No new name has been decided.
“If changing the name brings more love and peace to society, I’m open to listening to the change of the name,” Lindor said. “Society is shifting, and we are due for some change. I’m open to listen to a change of the name.”