The MLB’s Cleveland Indians have officially decided to change the team’s name, citing concerns over racial division and tension.
The team will keep its name through the 2021 season but will immediately begin the process of choosing a new name, according to owner Paul Dolan.
“We’ll be the Indians in 2021 and then after that, it’s a difficult and complex process to identify a new name and do all the things you do around activating that name,” Dolan told the Associated Press.
“We are going to work at as quick a pace as we can while doing it right,” he continued. “But we’re not going to do something just for the sake of doing it. We’re going to take the time we need to do it right.”
Dolan said it became clear after years of criticism that the team’s name “had its time, but this is not the time now.”
“Certainly going forward, the name is no longer acceptable in our world,” he explained.
President Donald Trump slammed the decision, calling it “cancel culture at work.”
Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for “Indians”. Cancel culture at work! https://t.co/d1l0C9g6Pd
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
Indians manager Terry Francona agreed with Dolan’s decision and said it was time to “move forward” with the name change.
“I’ve been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement,” Francona said.
“I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful,” he said. “And I still feel that way. But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today. I think it’s time to move forward. It’s a very difficult subject. It’s also delicate.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report).