First, we had the arrival of the “Washington Football Team.” Are we now about to see the birth of the “Cleveland Baseball Team,” or will they actually manage to come up with a permanent name and a new mascot? We should know soon enough because the Cleveland, Ohio franchise announced that they will be doing away with the “Indians” name they’ve had for more than a century. And like virtually everything else in the current era, it’s all about the racism.
The Cleveland Indians are dropping their controversial nickname, according to a report.
Following in the footsteps of the Washington Football Team, Cleveland will remove the “Indians” moniker many consider racist, the New York Times reported.
The 105-year-old nickname has long-drawn ire from Native American groups and fans, and that only grew with the US in the midst of a reckoning on racism and social injustice.
During the summer, the Washington Football Team removed its nickname, the Redskins, after facing pressure from sponsors and similar protests.
The New York Times also reported on this story, but without any additional details.
With no word on what the new team name and logo will be, fans are left wondering. It’s not clear whether the team’s owners did this without having a replacement name in mind or if they’ve settled on something but just weren’t ready to reveal it yet. The latter possibility doesn’t make much sense, though. If you already know what the new name is going to be, why not start the rebranding immediately so the fans can get used to the change?
If we assume that a new name hasn’t been selected yet, I would offer a suggestion. Some of the die-hard fans are obviously going to be upset over this, so why not bring them into the process as a sort of olive branch? Perhaps they could open up their website for public comment and take suggestions from the locals. Then the list could be narrowed down to a few final contenders and they could allow fans to vote on the name online.
Putting a managerial break in the process of narrowing down the list would avoid having all of the jokers out there trying to mess it up. If you don’t take steps like that these days, the team would almost certainly wind up being named the Cleveland Basebally McBasebalfaces.
Having never lived in Ohio, I really don’t have a horse in this race, but I could offer a couple of suggestions. If they wanted to keep the same theme, perhaps they could adopt a name such as the “Shawnees” in honor of one of the indigenous groups native to the area, assuming tribal leaders signed off on it. Or even the “Cleveland Eels” in recognition of the Eel River Tribe. That would at least make it a bit easier to come up with a mascot and a logo without offending anyone. (Perish the thought.)
In any event, the last major league sports team on the chopping block at this point is probably the Atlanta Braves. How long will it be before they cave in? I’m guessing it won’t be all that long.