The Cleveland Indians said Friday it will consider changing its name amid civil unrest over systemic racism and police brutality.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the team said in a statement Friday. “Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.
“We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice,” it added. “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.”
The Cleveland baseball team was dubbed the "Indians" after previously going by the Blues and the Naps. The team name has long been called offensive to indigenous people. Its logo, Chief Wahoo, a caricature of a Native American, was removed as the primary logo in 2013 and was removed from team uniforms completely in 2019.
The announcement comes just hours after the Washington Redskins announced it will undergo a "thorough review" of the team's name, which also has been broadly denounced as derogatory.
The nation has experienced weeks of unrest over policy brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, dies in Minneapolis police custody in May, sparking a broader conversation about an array of iconography, most notably statues of and military bases named after Confederate figures.