Cleveland Indians Announce Plans to Explore Potential Name Change

Matt Loede

On the heels of the NFL’s Washington franchise announcing they are having internal discussions to talk about possibly changing the name of the team, the Indians announced later on Friday that they are going to have those same conversations about the nickname “Indians."

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Zack Meisel reported first about the Indians' internal meetings regarding a possible shift in the team’s name.

The team tweeted out the following Friday evening about meetings the front office will hold regarding a potential name change.

“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the team said on Twitter.

“Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.

“We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. 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.

“While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.”

The report from The Athletic states that the franchise is serious about a potential name change, and that the club will “consult with the Native American community, fans, players alumni and internal staff” before they make a final decision.

For now, it appears that the Indians are acting alone in their decision to explore changing the name, and no pressure has come to this point from Major League Baseball.

The Tribe already made a big move away from their nickname last season when they announced they were no longer going to have Chief Wahoo on their uniforms.

The nickname “Indians” has been a part of Cleveland’s fabric and culture for the past 105 years. Before that the team was had a number of other nicknames, including the Naps, Broncos, Bluebirds and Lake Shores.

None of the nicknames for the franchise stuck for more than one season until they were known as the “Naps” from 1903 to 1914, and then in 1915 the team officially became known as the “Indians.”