The decision comes amid a wider push for sports teams to stop using Native American names and imagery as team names and mascots.
Following years of protests from fans and Native American groups, the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team name, moving away from a moniker that has long been criticized as racist, three people familiar with the decision said Sunday.
The move follows a decision by the Washington Football Team of the N.F.L. in July to stop using a name long considered a racial slur, and is part of a larger national conversation about race that magnified this year amid protests of systemic racism and police violence.
Cleveland could announce its plans as soon as this week, according to the three people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
It is not immediately clear what Cleveland’s exact steps will be beyond dropping the Indians name. The transition to a new name involves many logistical considerations, including work with uniform manufacturers and companies that produce other team equipment and stadium signage.
One of the people said Cleveland planned to keep the Indians name and uniforms for the 2021 season while working to shift away from it as early as 2022.
Cleveland spent much of the year before the 2019 season phasing out the logos and imagery of the cartoon mascot Chief Wahoo.
One option that the team is considering, two of the people said, is moving forward without a replacement name — similar to how the Washington Football Team proceeded — then coming up with a new name in consultation with the public.
The Cleveland baseball franchise has been known as the Indians since 1915, but Native American groups and others have for decades opposed the use of Indigenous names, mascots and imagery for sports teams, insisting they are demeaning and racist. Cleveland’s name and Washington’s old name were considered among the most high-profile examples and were the targets of widespread campaigns for change.
The Cleveland team did not immediately comment.
Other professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs and
Source: The New York Times