"Can anybody believe that the Cleveland Indians, a storied and cherished baseball franchise since taking the name in 1915, are changing their name to the Guardians? Such a disgrace, and I guarantee that the people who are most angry about it are the many Indians of our Country. Wouldn’t it be an honor to have a team named the Cleveland Indians, and wouldn’t it be disrespectful to rip that name and logo off of those jerseys? The people of Cleveland cannot be thrilled and I, as a FORMER baseball fan, cannot believe things such as this are happening. A small group of people, with absolutely crazy ideas and policies, is forcing these changes to destroy our culture and heritage. At some point, the people will not take it anymore!"
That's former President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE — who’s attended his share of New York Yankees games — sounding off in a statement on the Cleveland baseball franchise's decision to drop Indians as its name and replace it with Guardians.
Has a name change ever been so unpopular with the public? Conservative, independent, liberal, libertarian, apolitical — doesn't matter. Almost everyone on the planet outside of Cleveland's crack marketing and branding executives seems to loathe the new name. Well, except for the woke White House, which said it "certainly supports" the name change.
WH press sec. Psaki: "We certainly support" Cleveland's baseball team changing its name to "Guardians."— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 23, 2021
"We may be on the other side of the former president on that front, I would guess. I haven't seen his tweet -- or however he's communicating these days." pic.twitter.com/RwyB3wLWyf
Social media shows a much different reaction.
And just like that, the Indians adopt the dumbest, most pointless name in major professional sports https://t.co/r3W5UycoNV— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) July 23, 2021
Cleveland Indians Change Name To 'Cleveland Genderless Sports Players With No Discernable Racial Features Or Specific Ethnic Background'https://t.co/MduxPzcY9u— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) July 23, 2021
The Cleveland Guardians sounds like a crappy indoor soccer team no one watches.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 23, 2021
The Guardians derive from the city's Guardians of Traffic and Guardians of Transportation, eight statues that stand on four pylons on either side of Cleveland's Hope Memorial Bridge connecting the eastern and western parts of the city.
OK, so while there's a connection to the city, the name is still cumbersome and awkward.
So do fans in Cleveland like it? Well, if polling is any indication, that's a fat no. WKYC-TV, an NBC affiliate, found that 27.7 percent of respondents love the name Cleveland Spiders, which finished first in the poll. (No surprise there: The Spiders were a professional baseball team in Cleveland in the late 1800s.) Coming in second was the name Cleveland Rockers, which would have celebrated the city being host to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Guardians finished third with 15.5 percent of the vote, just ahead of some stiff competition from the Cleveland Baseball Team.
A 2016 Washington Post poll showed that 9 out of 10 Native Americans had no problem with the Washington Redskins as a team name. The NFL franchise has since dropped Redskins from its name, of course, and is currently the Washington Football Team.
A 2019 poll, also from the Post, found that Native Americans picked the word "proud" first regarding the Redskins team name. Overall, across the country, just 29 percent favored changing the Redskins name.
Cleveland’s name change follows Major League Baseball and its commissioner, Rob Manfred, panicking and packing up the All-Star Game from Atlanta and moving it to Denver. Wokeness was the driver of that decision because Manfred bought into the fact-checked lie from President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE that Georgia's voting law prevented working people from voting before their shifts were done by ending voting hours early.
“Biden falsely claims the new Georgia law ‘ends voting hours early’” — The Washington Post
Meanwhile, businesses in Georgia, already crippled by the pandemic, lost an estimated $100 million collectively in tourism-related business when the All-Star Game was moved out of state. Cobb County is a majority Black community, while Denver is as white as Colorado’s snow-capped mountains.
Result? MLB's All-Star Game, which featured one of the most exciting lineups in years, barely beat the lowest-rated game of all time in 2019, drawing just 8.24 million viewers.
So now Cleveland changes from a team name that has existed for the past 106 years. There wasn't exactly anything resembling a clamor for this, but that's 2021 for you: The year of the name change. In San Francisco, the school board voted 6-1 to remove all school names with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in them. Fortunately, the board hasn't yet followed through, after a substantial backlash.
And if you think political correctness and wokeness are things that only the right is aggrieved about, just listen to Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher criticizes NFL for playing Black national anthem 9/11 sparked a surge in Islamophobia — for years, the media fed the flames Psaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards MORE and James Carville, two guys who won't be invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference anytime soon.
From Maher, in March: “We [the U.S] see a problem and we ignore it, lie about it, fight about it, endlessly litigate it, sunset-clause it, kick it down the road and then write a bill where a half-assed solution doesn’t kick in for 10 years. China sees a problem and they fix it. They build a dam; we debate what to rename it.”
And from Carville, this month: "People are way more interested in their lives and how to improve them than they are in somebody else’s pronouns."
So, the woke mob takes another scalp, so to speak. And Cleveland gets the Guardians.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.