In a statement released Friday, the Cleveland Indians announced they would be engaging with “appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advocate social justice and equality,” the statement read. “Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.”
Cleveland Baseball Insider: Indians Announce Plans to Explore Potential Name Change
Cleveland’s was a charter franchise when the American League was founded in 1901, and has gone by the nickname “Indians” since 1915. The team went by Bluebirds in 1901, then Broncos in 1902 before changing to the Naps from 1903-14.
Before the 2019 season, the team announced it would discontinue use of the Chief Wahoo logo on its uniforms. The controversial logo features a smiling Native American with a red face and was deemed inappropriate for field use by MLB.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said of the logo at the time. “Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.”