CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have a new name — the Guardians.
The team made the announcement on Twitter Friday morning.
The team will continue to use the Indians' name for the remainder of the 2021 season and rebrand ahead of the 2022 season.
The Cleveland Indians began the process of changing their name after years of protests calling the team name and former Chief Wahoo logo “derogatory,” “racist,” and “offensive."
Manager Terry Francona said in July that he believed the time had come for the team to change its name after more than 100 years.
“I think it’s time to move forward,” Francona said. “It’s a very difficult subject. It’s also delicate.”
Together, we are all... pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
Team Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said hearing firsthand the stories and experiences of Native American people. The team gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and its detrimental effects on them.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said according to a press release. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency, and loyalty of Clevelanders."
The team had used "Indians" as its nickname since 1915, according to Sports Illustrated.
“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge," Dolan continued. "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.”
In 2019, Cleveland stopped wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps.
Kaylyn Hlavaty originally published this story for Scripps station WEWS in Cleveland.