Baseball Team to Change its Name

Baseball Team to Change its Name Photo: TT
Baseball Team to Change its Name

The Cleveland Indians baseball team are to change their name. They have finally bowed to the inevitable and reacted to decades of criticism that the current name of the team is redolent of racism and is disrespectful to Native Americans.

It comes in the same year that the Washington Redskins American football team, under threat from major sponsors, also decided that their historic name has to go. They have been played the current NFL season as just the Washington Football team until a more permanent and appropriate name can be found.

Founded in 1901, the team was originally known as the Cleveland Naps, but, when a popular player left the club in 1914, the then owner Charles Somers invited a group of baseball writers to come up with a new name after a popular player left the franchise. They eventually settled on the Indians after native American tribes who used to live in the area.

As the Cleveland Indians they won two World Series, six American League pennants and 10 Central Division titles. However, their current spell of 72 years without winning the World Series is the longest of all the teams playing Major League Baseball at the moment.

Protests about their name have been commonplace for years and, every year, the opening day of the season is greeted by demonstrators outside their stadium.

Last year they decided to remove the logo of Chief Wahoo that used to decorate all their uniforms, deciding that it was no longer appropriate in this day and age.

Now a consultation exercise will be held which will also involve fans of the franchise to come up with a more appropriate name.

It is not just sports teams that have been forced to rebrand in the US this year. In June, Quaker Oats announced that their Jemima Oats brand would be renamed because it had racial overtones. Similarly, Uncle Bens Rice is also going to be rebranded.

President Trump denounced the renaming of the Cleveland Indians, calling it an example of the cancel culture. But, on the days that the American electoral college upheld the result of the 2020 Presidential election, his views are of increasingly less significance.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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