Now the Cleveland Indians have also given in and announced that they want to change their previous name. After years of protests, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team has ditched the “Indians” nickname, which was once considered racist. The team confirmed the move on Monday after the New York Times and Washington Post previously reported the intention to change the name. Ohio’s baseball team has been called the Cleveland Indians since 1915, a new name has yet to be decided.
“Because this is so important, we are not rushing these decisions,” said team owner Paul Dolan in a letter to fans. Until a new name is found, the team will be called the Cleveland Indians.
By the way, the discovery of the name 105 years ago was much less legendary than is often thought. According to legend, the nickname was intended to honor former Cleveland player Louis Sockalex, a member of the Penobscot tribe, but many baseball reporters at the time were able to find a catchy nickname for the team.
Temporary for 105 years
And as “Sports Illustrated” reported, they actually assumed the “Indians” should only be a temporary solution. Because Cleveland’s baseball players were so weak at the time, the name was only meant to last one season, but was changed again when success returned.
The decision was “a big step forward,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). It’s about respecting the indigenous peoples. Outgoing US President Donald Trump says the name change is not good news even for indigenous people. This is where the “cancellation culture” comes in, he tweeted. Cleveland parted ways with its mascot, a cartoon Native American, last year.
The logo of the then Washington Redskins
Cleveland isn’t the first American sports team to ditch its potentially racist nickname. Over the summer, the Washington Football Team dropped its old nickname, “Redskins.”
Criticism of sports team names – for example the Kansas City Chiefs from the NFL or the Chicago Blackhawks from the NHL – has been around in the US for years. After the violent death of African-American George Floyd in May and the subsequent anti-racism protests in the USA, these teams were also under pressure. The Chiefs and Blackhawks are not yet aware of any plans to change the team’s name.