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Cleveland Indians owner says executives will meet with Native American groups to discuss name change

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The owner of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Cleveland Indians announced Thursday that the team’s executives plan to meet with Indigenous groups to discuss its name change.

“In the coming weeks, we will engage Native American leaders to better understand their perspectives, meet with local civic leaders, and continue to listen to the perceptions of our players, fans, partners and employees,” Cleveland Indians team owner Paul Dolan said in a statement. 

“We feel a real sense of urgency to discuss these perspectives with key stakeholders while also taking the time needed to ensure those conversations are inclusive and meaningful.”

Earlier this week, the team’s owners said they met with players to discuss the name change. On Friday the team opted to wear their away jerseys with the word “Cleveland” emblazoned on the front instead of their home jersey, which they would have normally worn for Friday’s home opener. The home jersey says “Indians” across the front. 

However, the Cleveland American Indian Movement of Ohio told the Washington Post that they have not yet heard from the baseball team.

“They have made statements now that they are going to reach out to the Native community, but no one in the Native community has heard anything from them,” the group’s executive director, Sundance (of the Muscogee tribe), told the Post. 

The director added that “the propaganda that the Cleveland baseball team has built around their brand and Native mascots in general for the last 105 years has been very, very, very detrimental to the Native community.”

Last week, Washington’s football team announced that it would be retiring its controversial “Redskins” logo and nickname, which has long been seen as a racial slur against Native Americans.

President Trump earlier this month criticized the teams for their respective potential name changes, saying they were only doing it to be “politically correct.”

Tags Cleveland Indians Donald Trump Indigenous people Major League Baseball Native Americans
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