SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Cleveland MLB team to drop 'Indians' from its name, though not immediately

The Major League Baseball team in Cleveland, Ohio, will drop "Indians" from its name, according to a report from The New York Times and later confirmed by other news outlets.

Posted: Dec 14, 2020 9:13 AM
Updated: Dec 14, 2020 4:45 PM

Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians announced Monday that the franchise will change the team name but will continue to play as the 'Indians' until the club determines their new branding.

In a team-issued statement, Cleveland's owner and chairman Paul Dolan acknowledged negative feedback received from civic leaders and Native American coalitions, including the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

'Hearing firsthand the stories and experiences of Native American people, we gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them,' he said.

'We also spoke to local civic leaders who represent diverse populations in our city and who highlighted the negative impact our team name has had on our broader population and on under-represented groups across our community.'

Cleveland said the name change process is the first of many steps in their pledged rebranding effort, which 'will take time.' The franchise did not set a timeline for the changes and said the club will continue to use the name Indians during the process.

The decision to change the team name, first reported by The New York Times, comes at a time when America is coming to terms with its racist past. A summer of protesting the deaths of Black people at the hands of police has led professional sports teams, companies and even schools to reconsider branding, imagery and memorabilia based on ethnic stereotypes and caricatures.

Sports teams with names based on Native Americans, including MLB's Indians and Atlanta Braves, and the NFL's Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs, have been facing pressure to reexamine their names as Americans more directly grapple with issues of racism.

Washington's NFL team -- formerly the Redskins -- did away with their name in July and are now the Washington Football Team.

Origin of the Cleveland team name

Change the Mascot, a national grass-roots campaign, applauded Cleveland's move on Monday, saying it shows a growing understanding that Native people should not serve as mascots for sports teams.

'With their commendable decision to alter the team name, Cleveland's team is taking an important step,' Ray Halbritter, an Oneida Nation representative and leader of the Change the Mascot campaign, said in a statement. 'For decades, Native American leaders including the National Congress of American Indians have called on Cleveland to change the name and logo. By finally acting, Cleveland's team is moving the team and professional sports forward down a new path of inclusivity and mutual respect.'

The 'Indians' name dates to 1915, when it was chosen by the team and a group of baseball newspaper writers. Though its exact origin is unclear, the name was partly based on the contemporary success of the Boston Braves, who won the 1914 World Series, as well as on Louis Sockalexis, a former Native American baseball star in Cleveland who died in 1913, according to Cleveland Magazine.

Cleveland removed its 'Chief Wahoo' logo, a racist caricature of a Native American character, from its team uniforms after the 2018 season.

'I think it's time to move forward,' Terry Francona, the manager of Cleveland's baseball team, said in July when discussing the team's name. 'It's a very difficult subject. It's also delicate.'

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
Delaware11155198
Howard10693237
Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
Huntington417882
Whitley416745
Steuben411260
Miami406073
Jasper401655
Knox388691
Putnam385762
Wabash370384
Adams353856
Ripley351971
Jefferson343487
White340154
Daviess3089100
Wells304081
Greene295185
Decatur292693
Fayette286564
Posey282635
Scott281058
LaGrange277772
Clay274949
Washington254637
Randolph247783
Jennings239749
Spencer238731
Fountain235850
Starke229959
Owen222959
Sullivan221643
Fulton208945
Jay203032
Carroll197722
Orange191756
Perry189939
Vermillion181144
Rush177627
Tipton173347
Franklin172535
Parke155916
Pike142534
Blackford138032
Pulaski123748
Newton123336
Benton109715
Brown106243
Crawford105816
Martin92515
Warren87915
Switzerland8378
Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
Warren24959312
Mahoning22738613
Lake21482396
Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
A complex system brings the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms to the region early Thursday morning.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events