Wed, 05 Aug 2020

Cleveland Indians ponder possible name change

Field Level Media
04 Jul 2020, 13:40 GMT+10

On the same day the Washington Redskins stated that they are reviewing their team nickname amid charges it is insensitive to Native Americans, the Cleveland Indians announced Friday that they are discussing the fate of their club nickname.

The team wrote in a statement posted on social media, "We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. 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 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.

"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.

"While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team."

Both the Indians and the Redskins have long faced criticism for maintaining their Native American-themed nicknames.

After the 2018 season, the Indians stopped wearing the smiling, red-faced Chief Wahoo emblem on their hats and jerseys, though they still sell products with that image.

Other sports teams with Native American nicknames have toned down the related imageries over the years.

The Kansas City Chiefs have retired their horse mascot ridden by a man in a feathered headdress, and the Atlanta Braves retired mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa in the 1980s.

Universities including Stanford, Arkansas State, William Mary and Louisiana-Monroe have dropped the Indians nickname.

--Field Level Media

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