Cleveland Indians altering title to Cleveland Guardians

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“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland – that’s the best part of our name,” says actor Tom Hanks in a video announcement he shared for the team that released it on twitter. “And now it’s time to unite as a family, a community, to build the next era for this team and this city.” a major cultural change in the US, while corporate brands are reviewing their use of racist cartoons and stereotypical names.

“We understand that the name change will be difficult for some of us and that it will take time,” said team owner Paul Dolan. “It is our hope and belief that this change will divert us from a path that is divisive and instead steer us into a future where our fans, our city and our region are all united as Cleveland Guardians.”

Coach Terry Francona, who played for the Indians and is the son of a former Cleveland player, said on Friday: “We try to be as respectful as possible. And it’s not about us, it’s about other people.”

“And you have to step out of your own skin and think of other people who may be a different skin color and what they think. And we tried to be really respectful and I’m really proud of our organization. “

The team announced last year that joining the NFL would make a name change Washington Football Team in 2020 to say it’s moving from a name reminiscent of Native Americans. Cleveland removed the Chief Wahoo logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms after the 2018 season. The Guardians’ choice is inspired by Cleveland’s architectural history. The guardians of the traffic are the great Art Deco statues that adorn the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects the west side of the city to the east side.

“Indians will always be part of our history, just as Cleveland has always been the most important part of our identity,” Dolan said. “When looking for a new brand, we looked for a name that strongly reflected the pride, resilience and loyalty of the Clevelanders.”

The club in Cleveland will keep its colors, according to the club.

A “welcome and necessary” change

Home Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary, called the decision a “welcome and necessary change”.

“I’m excited to see the Cleveland baseball team finally change their name. The long history of using Native American mascots and images on sports teams has harmed Indigenous communities,” Haaland said. posted on twitter Friday.

A prominent Native American activist also praised the club’s decision on Friday.

Cleveland’s move proves that it is possible for sports teams to eliminate “harmful” names and mascots, said Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and CEO of Illuminative.

“It is an important step in redressing the injustices perpetrated against the indigenous people and it is a step towards justice,” Echo Hawk said in a statement.

Echo Hawk renewed calling for other Native American sports teams with names to follow suit.

How guards were chosen

Guardians will be the fifth name in the major league’s 120-year history, after which blues, Bronchus and nap – although the Indians had by far the longest tenure as it was dated to 1915.

The team surveyed 40,000 fans, conducted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, and staff, and checked more than 1,190 names before choosing Guardians, it said.

“Guardians reflect the attributes that define us as we lean on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on Hope Memorial Bridge,” Dolan said in the team’s press release. “It brings to life the Clevelanders’ pride in our city and the way we fight together for those who choose to join the Cleveland baseball family.

“While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unite our fans and our city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

CNN’s Terence Burlij, Nicquel Terry Ellis, Gregory Wallace and David Close contributed to this report.