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Cleveland Indians Baseball Team To Drop ‘Racist’ Name

by : Cameron Frew on : 14 Dec 2020 08:25

Cleveland Indians Baseball Team To Drop 'Racist' Nameslsinc_/Instagram/PA Images

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After years of protests from fans and Native American groups, the Cleveland Indians baseball team will change their name. 

Earlier this year, the Washington Redskins announced it’d be undergoing a ‘thorough review’ of its name, writing in a statement: ‘The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season.’

They are now known as the Washington Football Team. Shortly after the news emerged, Cleveland also announced they were ‘committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name’.

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Cleveland IndiansPA Images

According to The New York Times, three people speaking under conditions of anonymity said the team will unveil their name-change plans as early as this week.

There are a number of considerations when changing the name, such as sponsorships, uniforms and signage in the stadium. One of the sources claimed the team plans to keep the name through the 2021 season, with plans to change in 2022.

Two of the people also said the team will proceed without a firm name, similarly to Washington, while the decision takes place in cooperation with the public.

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Washington Football TeamPA Images

In 2018, Cleveland announced the retirement of their mascot Chief Wahoo, which many thought to be offensive. However, momentum on the name has been slow ever since, despite constant lobbying from fans and campaigners.

In an earlier statement, the team wrote: ‘We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organisation fully recognises our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.’

Cleveland Indians Chief WahooPA Images
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They added: ‘We have had ongoing discussions organisationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organisation on issues of social justice.’

US President Donald Trump criticised the decision on Twitter, writing: ‘Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for ‘Indians’. Cancel culture at work!’

Other teams, such as Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Blackhawks, have no plans to change their branding, despite frequent requests that Native American names and logos should be removed.

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Cleveland earlier said: ‘We recognise our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning, and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, baseball, Racism, Sport, US

Credits

The New York Times
  1. The New York Times

    Cleveland’s Baseball Team Will Drop Its Indians Team Name