Cleveland’s baseball team, known since the mid 1910s as the Indians, is expected to change its name, according to multiple press reports, the latest sign of storied sports franchises moving to keep pace with cultural shifts in the United States.
The New York Times previously reported that the Cleveland Indians have decided to find a new team name, following years of protests from some fans and Native American advocacy organizations. The move, which the team has yet to confirm, would follow a decision made under pressure by the team now known as The Washington Football team to drop its previous moniker. That name has long been seen as a racist term that has sparked offense for years. FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo are among the sponsors pushing the Redskins to take new action.
The Cleveland team said in July, following the Washington team’s decision, that it planned to study its name and what steps it ought to take. “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 July statement. The Cleveland team in the recent past began to tamp down its use of the long-familiar “Chief Wahoo” figure, a “mascot” who was depicted as a cartoonish version of a Native American male.
The Cleveland team has had other names in the distant past, including the Naps, the Bronchos, and the Blues. The New York Times reported that a formal announcement could be made later this week.
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