Cleveland Indians Follow Washington Redskins In Name Change
he Cleveland Indians have become the second major US sports team to announce they will change their name due to criticism from Native American groups labelling the names as racist.
The MLB franchise owner and chairman, Paul Dolan, said the name, which has been used for over a century, has been under scrutiny for many years, but “it’s time” now to drop the name after months of internal discussions and meetings with Native American groups.
“It was a learning process for me and I think when fair-minded, open-minded people really look at it, think about it and maybe even spend some time studying it, I like to think they would come to the same conclusion,” Dolan told the Associated Press.
“It’s a name that had its time, but this is not the time now, and certainly going forward, the name is no longer acceptable in our world.
“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.
“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.
“We don’t want to be the Cleveland Baseball Team or some other interim name.
“We will continue to be the Indians until we have identified the next name that will hopefully take us through multiple centuries,” he said, referencing the Washington Redskins who earlier in the year announced they will change their name for similar reasons, but will be known as the Washington Football Team in the meantime.
The team is yet to announce a potential replacement for the name, but Dolan said the new name will have no Native American connotations.
“We are not going to take a half-step away from the Indians,” Dolan said.
“The new name, and I do not know what it is, will not be a name that has Native American themes or connotations to it.
“There is definitely some pain in this.
“It’s the end of an era or the beginning of an era.
“But accompanying that is the recognition and maybe even excitement that we’re going on to do something that is better.
“It will be better for the community.
“It will be better for our team.
“And it will be something hopefully that unites everybody.
“It’s not anything that we have to feel any kind of reluctance about expressing.
“It’s going to take some time for everybody to embrace, but I think when they do, we’ll all be better off for it,” he said.