Story at a glance

  • The new name will go into effect at the end of the 2021 season.
  • “We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement.
  • The Cleveland Indians have faced pressure for years to drop the name considered to be offensive to Native Americans.

The Cleveland MLB team will soon have a new name. 

The ballclub announced Friday via a Twitter video narrated by actor Tom Hanks that the franchise will be called the Cleveland Guardians, dispensing with the Indians moniker that has been criticized for being offensive to Native Americans. 

The new name will go into effect at the end of the 2021 season. 

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge,” he said. 


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“While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians,” he added. 

The team said it surveyed more than 40,000 fans about potential names and conducted more than 140 hours of interviews with supporters to land on a name. 

The organization began having conversations with local community members and Native American groups about the name change last summer as a nationwide reckoning on race unfolded following the death of George Floyd. The team announced in December it was searching for its fifth name in franchise history. 

The team has been known as the Indians since 1915. 


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Published on Jul 23, 2021