Cleveland Indians baseball team to change name over racist complaints

Source: AFP Published: 2020/12/15 16:48:41

Cleveland Indians logo Photo: VCG

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team confirmed on Monday it will drop its long-held "Indians" name after protests from fans and Native American groups who regard the moniker as racist.

Cleveland confirmed the change, which had been widely reported on Sunday, in a statement on Twitter. The club has yet to decide on a replacement name for the "Indians" tag adopted in 1915.

"The Cleveland Indians today announced our decision to begin the process of changing from our team name 'Indians,'" the team said.

"Since July we have conducted an extensive process to learn how our team name affected different constituencies and whether it aligned with our organizational values.

"As a result of that process, we have decided to move forward with changing the current team name and determining a new, non-Native American based name for the franchise."

It was not immediately clear when the namechange will take effect. Several US reports on Monday said the team would continue to be known as the Indians through the 2021 season.

Cleveland's move mirrors a decision taken by the NFL's Washington Football Team, who dropped their old team name, deemed to be offensive to Native Americans, earlier this year.

The Washington decision came during a period of nationwide soul-searching over issues of race in the US following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd during his arrest by police in Minneapolis in May.

The NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Braves of MLB and Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL are other pro clubs that use Native American names and logos.

The Blackhawks have ruled out any changes to the team's name and logo, arguing it honors a Native American.


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