Fans wait in anticipation to see what happens this season for the Cleveland Indians. But, there is one thing for sure, this will be the last season that the team is going to be referred to by that name. Despite the long history associated with Cleveland Indians, the new season will see the organization move forward into a new era, with 1,200 new names to choose from ahead of the first game. Let’s take a closer look at the background and how this change has come about.
Background to the Name Change
After over 100 years of being called the Cleveland Indians, the team has announced that they will be changing their name. This came after a lot of people found using native American symbols and names as offensive and that it was disrespectful to different cultures. Indeed, over 115 professional organizations complained about the use of the name and symbol by the baseball team. It was stated that this was an example of ethnic stereotyping.
Despite this long history, the baseball team actually has been called other names before this. This included the Cleveland Spiders, as well as the Blue and Forest Citys. There have been protests ever since the 1970s and it is not until now that changes are going to be made. Several years ago, the team made the choice to remove Chief Wahoo from the logo of their jerseys. In the future, the new name will not have any associated with Native American themes that may cause offense.
Deciding on a Name
In February 2021, the organization met with fans and announced that a name change was in order. They wanted input from the fans in order to find a new name to move forward with and that everyone was going to need to. In particular, there were some criteria for coming up with a new name. The organization wanted to ensure the name would reflect the city, as well as make sure that the history of the team was preserved. It should aim to unite the fans and everyone together and not create diversity.
The name ideas have been successful so far. There were nearly 1,200 names submitted and now it will be up to the team to look over them and choose the best one. In particular, to avoid legal problems, they will be carefully vetted. This comes as a result of completing over 140 hours of interviews, as well as involving 40,000 fans in a survey.
On social media, there are some names that fans are drawn to. In particular, a large majority would like the team to revert back to their earlier name of the Cleveland Spiders. In addition, there are some sectors of the fans that like the Guardians and the Avengers, which are most likely inspired by Marvel movies. If you are someone that likes betting, such as on real money slots machines and sport betting, you may want to join in the fun with betting on the name change. You never know, you may be one of the lucky punters who wins the bet with the correct guess of the new name of the team.
From the nearly 1,200 names, it has been narrowed down. There have been several rounds in order to do this. But the list has not yet been shared with fans and the world. The next step is going to be creating a logo and other brand elements that will bring the team together. The purpose is to have branding that tells a story and reflects the community in Cleveland.
Fan Reaction to the Name Change
There is no doubt that there has been a lot of upset caused by the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians in recent years. There have been a lot of protests in the area because of it. But, the former owner of the team, Richard Jacobs made it clear that he would never drop the logo while he was in charge. In 2000, when Larry Dolan took over, he too said that he did not see a problem with the logo the team used. He thought that it was not disrespectful, and it was not meant to cause offense. Unfortunately, the opinions of the previous owners have meant that it has taken this long for change to come around.
Paul Dolan has now said that a name change is necessary for the integrity of the team. It has been a response to the political climate at this time in the country. In particular, it is believed that the death of George Floyd meant that the team looked at ways it could contribute to change in the community and for the future. While the name is thought to be going ahead for the 2022 season, there is some speculation that it could be 2023 until the name takes effect. This is still to be confirmed.
But, it is important to note that there are some fans that are not wanting their name to change. In particular, they believe that it is part of the team’s heritage and want the name to remain unchanged for the new season. In particular, they do not see the use of the word ‘Indians’ as offensive. While this seems like a minority, it will be interesting to note how the new name will be reacted to once it is released.
While the majority of fans are open to a name change, the new one will have to be thought about very carefully. Of course, it will not be offensive like the old one. But it will have to have a ring to it in order to win over all of the fans. It is likely that some fans might reject it for a couple of years. But, in the future, it is hoped that most fans will adopt the new name and embrace the changes that are going on with the team. At this point, it is going to be a waiting game for the fans and there is some excitement about what the final names will be, as well as the new logo.
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