Cleveland Indians Baseball Team Announce New Name
The Cleveland Indians baseball team have finally announced their new name, coming after years of protests from fans.
Cleveland earlier announced they were ‘committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name’, coming amid extra scrutiny over the American sporting teams’ names, like the Washington Redskins, currently operating under the Washington Football Team.
Name-change plans were originally expected to be announced last year, while some rumours had anticipated the Indians would remain through to the end of the 2021 season.
Coming into effect after the 2021 season, Cleveland’s team will henceforth be known as the Guardians, as confirmed today by Major League Baseball. The name change was revealed in a video narrated by Tom Hanks, referencing the Guardians of Traffic statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge.
‘We are loyal and proud and resilient. We protect what we’ve earned and always defend it. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land,’ the actor says.
It’s been three years since Cleveland ditched its controversial Chief Wahoo logo, considered demeaning to Native Americans. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said it was ‘no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball.’
After the team announced its desire to talk to local community members and Native American groups about changing the name, more than 4,000 fans signed up to have their say, with more than 40,000 fans surveyed and 140 hours of interviews with fans, staff and others.
‘To protect, to keep watch, to defend. For Clevelanders, this is a way of life. We fight together for what we believe in. And if we get knocked down, we pick each other right back up and keep fighting. We’re resilient, hard working and loyal – to this city and to each other. That’s what it means to be Cleveland Guardians,’ the team’s website reads.
‘Our fans are at the heart of this decision. We heard this name often from our fans as a top contender because of it’s connection to the iconic Cleveland landmark – the Hope Memorial Bridge that stands just outside of our ballpark where the Guardians of Traffic have become a symbol of the city’s resiliency,’ it adds.
The Washington Football Team is also expected to announce a new name and logo for the 2022 season.
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