During this time period, which has seen many anti-racist rallies, both the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians have agreed to review and possibly change their sports team names.
Grabbing headlines, the Cleveland Indians organization announced on Friday, July 3rd that despite having the team name ‘Indians’ since 1915, it might be time for a change to something more politically correct.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the Indians organization said.
Two years ago, the Indians took a big step towards silencing their critics when in 2018, they removed the Chief Wahoo logo, which consists of a grinning red -faced Indian mascot from their game- worn jerseys and caps.
From years gone by, there have been public outcries for the Cleveland Indians to change their team name but no steps were ever taken.
Now, in these changing times, the Indians are willing to review and reconsider starting a new franchise tradition in changing their team name.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves MLB team, who, like the Indians have for years come under criticism because of their team name, are not considering making a change.
In a statement the Braves stated, “The team “honors, supports, and values the Native American community That will never change. The Atlanta Braves have a meaningful commitment to honour the Native American community and we are excited about working together to ensure this happens.”
The Braves, who have also been highly criticized for encouraging the fans to do the tomahawk chop, also went on to say it has “Created an even stronger bond with various Native American tribes, both regionally and nationally, on matters related to the Braves and Native American culture.”
Heading into the shortened season, the Braves did say that during home games, they will not encourage anymore the trademark tomahawk chop and chant which caused some negativity during last fall’s NL Division series loss against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Over in the NFL circuit, the Washington Redskins have received pressure from its major sponsor FedEx to change its team name. The company back in 1999 paid over 205 million for the Stadium naming rights, which is called FedEx Field.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a statement.
In the past, there has been all sorts of pressure for the franchise to get rid of ‘Redskins’ which has been called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates. Concerned investors have also contacted PepsiCo and other sponsors pressuring for a name change.
Back in late June, the Redskins took down the name of racist owner George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx field. Also, a monument of him was taken down from RFK Stadium.
Nike, NFL’s official jersey supplier also began to take action when on July 2nd they took Redskins gear out of their respective online stores.
Interestingly enough, the next day, Redskins merchandise was absent. Currently, including Nike, there are three major companies whose investors want them to walk away unless the team agrees to get rid of the Redskins name.
Over time, there have been many opinions about the football name Redskins. The National Congress of American Indians once referred to it as a “contemptuous” and “racist” term.
After some conversations with the NFL on this matter, the Redskins will indeed take the first step with a “thorough” review of whether or not to change their name.
Cutline: Headline 1. (Picture of Cleveland Indians mascot) In these uncertain times consisting of anti-racist rallies Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians have decided to review the possibility of changing its team name. A couple of years ago they removed the famous Chief Wahoo logo from their game worn jerseys and caps.
Headline 2 (Picture of Washington Redskins logo on field) After enduring countless years of public pressure, the Washington Redskins announced on Friday, July 3rd that they are going to reconsider changing it’s team logo.
Photo Credit (For Cleveland Indians picture, awesomelyluvvie.com)
Photo Credit (For Redskins picture, www.kstp.com)