Cleveland Indians to start name change process

Cleveland Indians to start name change process
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The Cleveland Indians on Monday announced plans to change their team name, which will be used through the 2021 season. 

The baseball team said in a statement that the decision to no longer use “Indians” came after a “thorough review”  announced over the summer. 

“As a result of that process, we have decided to move forward with changing the current team name and determining a new, non-Native American based name for the franchise,” the team said. 

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“After reflecting upon those discussions, we believe our organization is at its best when we can unify our community and bring people together – and we believe a new name will allow us to do this more fully,” it added. 

Monday's announcement is considered “phase one” of a “multi-phase process.” 

“Future decisions, including new name identification and brand development, are complex and will take time,” the statement said. “While we work to identify a new and enduring franchise name, we will continue using the Indians name.”

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Cleveland’s baseball team intended to alter its name, which it has used for 105 years.

The baseball team said it consulted the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition and the National Congress of American Indians during its review.

“By agreeing to change the team name away from Indigenous themes, the Cleveland baseball team is helping to create a place where Native American children and their families feel valued and fully seen,” the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition said in a statement.

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Paul Dolan, the team's owner and chairman, said in a statement that the team “gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them.”

Dolan told The Associated Press on Monday that the name “is no longer acceptable in our world.”

“We don’t want to be the Cleveland Baseball Team or some other interim name,” he added. “We will continue to be the Indians until we have identified the next name that will hopefully take us through multiple centuries.”

President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE decried the Sunday report about the Cleveland Indians changing their name, tweeting that it was “cancel culture at work.”

“Oh no! What is going on?” he posted. “This is not good news, even for ‘Indians.’ Cancel culture at work!”

Cleveland’s announcement comes months after the Washington Football Team removed its previous name, which was considered a racial slur against Native Americans. Both teams decided to change their names this year after racial justice protests sparked conversations about systemic racism in the country.

It also follows Cleveland's phasing out of its former logos, including the mascot Chief Wahoo, ahead of its 2019 season.