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Cleveland Indians manager: 'Time to move forward' and change name

Cleveland Indians manager: 'Time to move forward' and change name

The manager of the Cleveland Indians baseball team said on Sunday that it is time for the team to "move forward" by changing its name. 

"I've been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement," manager Terry Francona said, referencing a statement the team put out Friday that said it was considering a name change. 

"I know in the past, when I've been asked about, whether it's our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we're never trying to be disrespectful. And I still feel that way,” he added, according to CNN

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"But I don't think that's a good enough answer today. I think it's time to move forward. It's a very difficult subject. It's also delicate," he said.

The baseball team put out a statement last week announcing it was considering changing the team’s name

“Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community,” the team statement said. 

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“With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name,” it added. 

It's one of several professional sports teams named after Native Americans that is now considering a change. 

The Washington Redskins football team on Friday said it would undergo a “thorough review” of the team’s name. The nickname for decades has been criticized as racist, but the team has previously refused to consider a change. That stance shifted after major advertisers and business partners signaled they could or would cut ties over the issue.

The Cleveland baseball team was named the “Indians” after previously going by the Blues and the Naps. It has also long been criticized over the nickname, and a caricature known as Chief Wahoo long regarded as racist. That caricature was removed from team uniforms in 2019 after being removed as the team's primary logo in 2013. 

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Efforts to change the nicknames garnered new momentum amid a nationwide examination of systemic racism that began with protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.