CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team is now the latest professional sports organization to publicly announce it is discussing a change to the team's name, and the ideas are flowing from fans.
"Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community," a representative for the team wrote in a statement posted to its social media platforms, as calls for diversity, inclusion and a better understanding of race relations grow stronger around the country.
The statement continued: "The recent unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice. With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."
Many say the change should have happened a long time ago, and that they are happy to see Cleveland's baseball team participating in today's movement for social justice, after only recently dropping the controversial "Chief Wahoo" caricature prior to the 2019 season.
Lifelong fan Nick Kadylak tweeted on Friday: "I support Cleveland baseball. Thankfully the absurdly racist caricature is gone. The name change is long overdue. Please move forward on providing the fans with wonderful entertainment with a new name. Native Americans aren't mascots, they are human beings."
Suggestions started flowing the moment the name review was announced. Here are some of the best, most creative and outrageous ideas floating around that could possibly become the new name for Cleveland's baseball squad:
- Cleveland Buckeyes (the name of Cleveland's World Series-winning team that existed from 1942-1950 in a segregated league that included Black and Latin Americans)
- Cleveland Spiders (the team name from when it was in the National League in the late 1800s)
- Cleveland Midges
- Cleveland Rail Roaders
- Cleveland Rockets (a nod to the nearby NASA Glenn Research Center)
- Cleveland Rockers (a reference to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
- Cleveland Guardians
- Cleveland Flames
- Cleveland Cliffhangers
- Cleveland Steelheads
Cleveland's professional baseball team shared it was looking into changing its name on the same day that the NFL team based out of Washington, D.C. announced a review of its own.
The football club has long been known as the "Redskins," a term considered highly offensive to indigenous people in the United States.
Following calls for change from the community, lawmakers, and sponsors, including FedEx and Nike, the Washington team issued a statement on Friday announcing a thorough review of the team's identity.