Cleveland’s Baseball Team FINALLY Changes Their Name to the Guardians
The franchise gets a new, non-racist team name.
Cleveland’s baseball team announced a major league name change today: the team will no longer be called the Cleveland Indians, but will now be known as the Cleveland Guardians. The team announced the name change in a promotional video complete with a voice-over from Tom Hanks and music from the Black Keys.
Together, we are all… pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
“We remember those moments as we move forward with change. You see, there’s always been Cleveland ― that’s the best part of our name. And now it’s time to reunite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city,” Hanks intones over the video. Team owner Paul Dolan announced the name change last year, after decades of activism and lobbying by various Native American groups and activists. This follows the 2018 decision to retire the racist team mascot “Chief Wahoo,” an offensive caricature that dates back to the 1930s.
“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” team owner Paul Dolan said. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
For everyone going WTF about the new Cleveland Guardians, the team has been re-named after the beloved art deco statues on the historic bridge over the river at the Ballpark’s doors.
They’re the Guardians of Traffic. Here’s one. There’s eight total. They’re awesome. pic.twitter.com/xYmBLNI02I
— Derf Backderf (@DerfBackderf) July 23, 2021
Cleveland joins the Washington Football Team, formerly known as the “Washington Redskins,” who announced their name change last year. Washington has yet to decide on a new team name. Currently, three major league teams retain names that many would like to see changed: MLB’s Atlanta Braves, the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
Many prominent Native American and Indigenous activists, artists, and leaders responded to Cleveland’s name change, including Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who tweeted “I am glad to see that the Cleveland baseball team is finally changing its name. The long practice of using Native American mascots and imagery in sports team has been harmful to Indigenous communities. This is a welcome and necessary change.”
I am glad to see that the Cleveland baseball team is finally changing its name. The long practice of using Native American mascots and imagery in sports team has been harmful to Indigenous communities. This is a welcome and necessary change.
— Secretary Deb Haaland (@SecDebHaaland) July 23, 2021
Activist Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, who has spent years fighting against the use of Native-themed mascots, said “This victory belongs to the Native people and organizations within Cleveland who have been fighting this issue for decades … Although this change should’ve happened decades ago, I hope other franchises like the Kansas City team and the Atlanta team can learn from this and move away from Native mascots and slur names.”
Plenty of angry conservatives are railing against the name change, including our former president who is now banned from social media and was forced to air his grievances by shouting into the void. He was joined by several fellow Republicans bemoaning the “loss of history” in the name change. Stay mad, guys.
Others took to social media to commend the name change:
So the @MLB team Cleveland are changing their name from the @Indians to the #Guardians.
As a Native journalist that has covered sports and Native mascots for years — I am so glad to say goodbye to the horrendous image of #ChiefWahoo
Here are my thoughts in a #thread pic.twitter.com/QaHcjvlPzB
— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) July 23, 2021
No more racist mascots. #ClevelandGuardians pic.twitter.com/j2PNiAQbb6
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) July 23, 2021
My statement on the recent decision of the Cleveland @Indians to change their name to the #ClevelandGuardians.#NotYourMascot @EONMassoc pic.twitter.com/vDLD6dzeJK
— Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler) July 23, 2021
If their logo isn’t a raccoon with a machine gun I’m gonna be bummed. https://t.co/xNCSaQBiNq
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2021
(via Indian Country Today, image: screencap/Cleveland Guardians)
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