According to a report from the New York Times, the Cleveland Indians will be dropping their “Indians” nickname which has been the team’s identity since 1915.
After the decision made by the Washington Football Team to move on from their past name, Cleveland’s ownership announced that it will be reviewing its nickname and listening to local, and national Native American groups on the status of the name in today’s culture. The team will hold the “Indians” name for the 2021 season and will go through the process of a complete rebrand.
“It’s time,” Owner Paul Dolan said in an interview with the Associated Press. “The name is no longer acceptable in our world.”
The name has long been considered a racial slur. The organization seemed to begin to pivot away from the name in 2018. They ditched the cartoonish “Chief Wahoo” mascot at that time. Native American groups for many years could be found outside the stadium protesting the name as they consider it to be offensive and racist. These Native American groups could famously be found on opening day debating the name with the team’s fans.
The name originally was meant to honor Louis Sockalexis, who played for the Cleveland Spiders, which was a separate National League franchise. The Spiders have become a popular name among fans (including myself) for the team to rebrand to.
More information will come out when the organization makes its official statement.