Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team announced on Friday that it is officially changing its name from the Indians to the Guardians.
The organization announced last year that it would change its name after activists claimed the franchise moniker was racist.
Team officials took a poll of potential names that fan favorites liked, and Guardians was the top pick.
Together, we are all… pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
““There’s always been Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” actor Tom Hanks said in the team’s announcement video. “Now ‘. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest.”
The team did not say when the new name will go into effect, but the MLB said it will most likely be before the start of the 2022 season.
The Cleveland team’s owner, Paul Dolan, said last year that the Indians franchise “had its time, but this is not the time now,” adding that many view it as discriminatory towards Native Americans.
“Certainly going forward, the name is no longer acceptable in our world,” he explained.
Indians manager Terry Francona agreed with Dolan’s decision and said it was time to “move forward” with the name change.
“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,” Francona 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 NFL’s Washington Redskins also temporarily changed its name to the Washington Football Team last year, saying the original name is now “demeaning” to Native Americans.
Washington’s team has not yet announced a new permanent name.
“We’ve transitioned from our old name. Now it’s time to write a new legacy,” the team says on its website. “The future of Washington Football arrives in 2022.”