Sunday, April 11, 2021

Latest Posts

The story behind an unlikely world record

Multiple FIFA World Cup records were set on this day 20 years ago American Samoa faced numerous hurdles in the lead-up FIFA.com...

How to watch the Masters Tournament, Round 4: Leaderboard, tee times, TV times

The final round of the Masters gets underway today at Augusta National Golf Club. Hideki Matsuyama leads by four with Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Justin...

The First Look: RBC Heritage

The RBC Heritage returns to its traditional post-Masters spot on the schedule after serving as the second event in last year’s Return to Golf. While...

Hideki Matsuyama Charges Into the Lead at the Masters

After a 78-minute rain delay, the golf course was far more forgiving with significantly slower greens, and Matsuyama will head into Sunday’s final round...

Cleveland’s Baseball Team Will Drop Its Indians Team Name

The decision comes amid a wider push for sports teams to stop using Native American names and imagery as team names and mascots.

Following years of protests from fans and Native American groups, the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team name, moving away from a moniker that has long been criticized as racist, three people familiar with the decision said Sunday.

The move follows a decision by the Washington Football Team of the N.F.L. in July to stop using a name long considered a racial slur, and is part of a larger national conversation about race that magnified this year amid protests of systemic racism and police violence.

Cleveland could announce its plans as soon as this week, according to the three people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

It is not immediately clear what Cleveland’s exact steps will be beyond dropping the Indians name. The transition to a new name involves many logistical considerations, including work with uniform manufacturers and companies that produce other team equipment and stadium signage.

One of the people said Cleveland planned to keep the Indians name and uniforms for the 2021 season while working to shift as early as 2022.

Cleveland spent much of the year before the 2019 season phasing out the logos and imagery of the cartoon mascot Chief Wahoo.

One option that the team is considering, two of the people said, is moving forward without a replacement name — similar to how the Washington Football Team proceeded — then coming up with a new name in consultation with the public.

The Cleveland baseball franchise has been known as the Indians since 1915, but Native American groups and others have for decades opposed the use of Indigenous names, mascots and imagery for sports teams, insisting they are demeaning and racist. Cleveland’s name and Washington’s old name were considered among the most high-profile examples and were the targets of widespread campaigns for change.

The Cleveland team did not immediately comment.

Other professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Blackhawks, have said in recent months that they have no plans to change their names. Many universities and high schools abandoned Native American names and mascots long ago, but efforts to address the names at all levels of sport in the United States have increased in recent months.

For Cleveland, the process began when it announced it would retire its longtime mascot, Chief Wahoo, a cartoonish caricature that was seen as particularly offensive. Many applauded the decision, but insisted the team name must go, too.

Then in July, just hours after Washington announced it would change its name (under pressure from key sponsors like FedEx, Pepsi and Nike), Cleveland said it would conduct a “thorough review” of its nickname. The team has consulted with many Native American groups, both in Ohio and nationally.

“We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name,” the team said in a statement in July.

Philip Yenyo, left, the executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio, protesting the Cleveland mascot and team name in 2015. Activists calling for a name change often demonstrated outside the team’s home opener.
Mark Duncan/Associated Press

Native American groups usually appear at Cleveland’s home opener each spring, sometimes in the face of withering verbal abuse from fans as they enter the stadium. In recent years, the team has worked with the protesters and police to help ensure the safety of demonstrators and their right to free and peaceful expression.

The club has said that the name was originally intended to honor a former player, Louis Sockalexis, who played for the Cleveland Spiders, a major league club, in the 19th century and was a member of the Penobscot Nation. Some have suggested that Cleveland adopt the name Spiders as a replacement.

Cleveland’s name was long accompanied by the Chief Wahoo logo. Phasing the image out included removing the logo from uniforms and from walls and banners in the stadium. A block “C” was adopted in its place.

“Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community,” the team’s July statement said.

Latest Posts

The story behind an unlikely world record

Multiple FIFA World Cup records were set on this day 20 years ago American Samoa faced numerous hurdles in the lead-up FIFA.com...

How to watch the Masters Tournament, Round 4: Leaderboard, tee times, TV times

The final round of the Masters gets underway today at Augusta National Golf Club. Hideki Matsuyama leads by four with Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Justin...

The First Look: RBC Heritage

The RBC Heritage returns to its traditional post-Masters spot on the schedule after serving as the second event in last year’s Return to Golf. While...

Hideki Matsuyama Charges Into the Lead at the Masters

After a 78-minute rain delay, the golf course was far more forgiving with significantly slower greens, and Matsuyama will head into Sunday’s final round...

Don't Miss

Australians seek redemption 25 years after Greg Norman’s collapse

It would be nearly two decades until Australia earned its first Green Jacket. Day and Scott had tied for second in 2011 at Augusta National...

Jameson Taillon Impresses in First Yankees Start

Taillon has dealt with injuries throughout his career, but his first start for the Yankees went well. His coffee expertise is a bonus.Since the...

APGA Tour continues landmark season at TPC Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The APGA Tour’s breakthrough 2021 season continues April 11-13 as the tour and its players head west for APGA Tour...

Olympic Bobsledder Who Killed Himself Likely Had C.T.E.

Pavle Jovanovic, who represented the United States at the 2006 Olympics, is believed to be the first athlete in a sliding sport to be...

Two Sports, a Fast Time and Some Questions

The British track Olympian Beth Potter switched sports, but her stardom in triathlon came too late to qualify for Tokyo. Then she set a...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.