Cleveland Indians ready to discuss changing team name

soxhop411

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After 105 years, the Cleveland Indians’ nickname might be on borrowed time.

With the NFL’s Washington Redskins launching an internal review of their team nickname this week, the Indians have initiated plans to further examine and consider the future of their own. The topic made the rounds in the Indians’ front office on Friday, the first full day of spring training workouts at Progressive Field.

“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality,” the team said in a statement sent to The Athletic on Friday evening. “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.”
Bring back the Cleveland Spiders!
 

teddywingman

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Seems to me that if the logo were more respectful, the name wouldn't be a problem. My indigenous friends don't have a problem with the term. I'll ask what they think of the team name.
 

jon abbey

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Pretty sure they should be the Cleveland Midges, yes I'm still bitter.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
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SemperFidelisSox

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They got rid of Chief Wahoo. That was the main problem. The name is fine, but my opinion probably means nothing if Native Americans find it offensive.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Like that's the only logo you're going to see at the park.
You're not going to see Chief Wahoo except on the shirts of regressive trolls, so the team has already addressed that issue. Just as changing the name won't stop people from continuing to wear Indians merchandise.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Well, their name is Indians and they aren't named after people from India, so I would say the name isn't really fine.
 

Harry Hooper

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Spiders? Does that mean the Braves are out and the Bees come back too?

 

brs3

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You're not going to see Chief Wahoo except on the shirts of regressive trolls, so the team has already addressed that issue. Just as changing the name won't stop people from continuing to wear Indians merchandise.
Or anyone that owns Indians gear purchased at the stadium in the last 2 years or prior to 2018 online, likely wears it because they own it. Not everyone runs out to update their gear, and plenty of people love Chief Wahoo that aren't trolling. You're right that people will continue to wear the gear, but perhaps the team can reinvent themselves the same way the Rays did. It's not like their fans have a ton of titles to cling to. Win and everybody will be happy to cheer on the Cleveland Tribe, Iroquois or Downtown Traffic.

I just googled who the first full blooded Native American to play baseball was, and it was Louis Sockalexis, for the Cleveland Spiders. Spiders is a fine choice, but I'm sure someone can figure out the best name to switch to.
Pretty soon "Americans" will be offensive. No, let's go further. Humans.
Yeah, that's basically the same thing! Lots of people already are bothered by the word "Americans", right?
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Perhaps I overstated it, but I've been an Indians fan for 35 years and live within 90 miles of Cleveland, so I've witnessed the ugly battle over Chief Wahoo up close and constantly. There's a sentimentality about him in that he seemed to perfectly characterize both the success and failure of the franchise in a lovable way that people who aren't Cleveland fans may not be able to grasp. However, even if he was once considered an innocent cartoon character, he'd become outdated and inappropriate, so it was past the time to set nostalgia aside and make a clean break. I'll still be keeping my two Chief Wahoo bobbleheads, and I'm not going to rip him off the sleeve of my old Vizquel jersey, but fortunately there are a lot of us who will not wear Chief Wahoo gear to games because we don't want to be mistaken for those who think their sports fandom is more important than a race of humans.

However, the original point remains that the organization has disassociated itself from Chief Wahoo, so he's really not a part of the current issue.
 
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benhogan

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What an embarrassment the Indians/Redskins ownership are to professional sports. This has been an issue for well over 4 decades.

Under pressure from local tribes 40yrs ago, Syracuse University got rid of the Saltine Warrior and adopted Otto the Orange as its mascot. Nike convinced the University to formally change its name to Orange from Orangemen ~ 2004.
 
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BaseballJones

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What an embarrassment the Indians/Redskins ownership are to professional sports. This has been an issue for well over 4 decades.

Under pressure from local tribes 40yrs ago, Syracuse University got rid of the Saltine Warrior and adopted Otto the Orange as its mascot. Nike convinced the University to formally change its name to Orange from Orangemen ~ 2004.
Yep. We went from a Native American nickname and mascot to a fruit that has nothing to do with upstate New York to....a color. We are now just a color. With a fruit mascot (still the best in the NCAA, of course).
 

PC Drunken Friar

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This is so pathetic that the cancel culture movement is doing this. They already dropped Chief Wahoo logo. I'd be pretty pissed if I was an Indians fan or any fan of the Chiefs, Braves, Blackhawks because these liberal cancel culture assholes will be out for them next.
I guess a snowflake is gonna snowflake!
 

donutogre

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This is so pathetic that the cancel culture movement is doing this. They already dropped Chief Wahoo logo. I'd be pretty pissed if I was an Indians fan or any fan of the Chiefs, Braves, Blackhawks because these liberal cancel culture assholes will be out for them next.
Quite the hill to die on, but good to know where your priorities are.
 

jmanny24

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This is so pathetic that the cancel culture movement is doing this. They already dropped Chief Wahoo logo. I'd be pretty pissed if I was an Indians fan or any fan of the Chiefs, Braves, Blackhawks because these liberal cancel culture assholes will be out for them next.
I guess a snowflake is gonna snowflake!
I'm sorry I am with Jsinger in this in that he is entitled to his opinion and the responses to him are not helping the situation. The only people who should be not only offended (if they want to be) or asked if they are offended are the minorities involved. I say this as a disabled man who laughs at able-bodied people who are aghast when I joke with people about my condition. Let me worry about whether or not I am offended, people trying to tell people how they should feel whether outwardly or inwardly is just as wrong. If you ask Joe Blow on the street what he thinks when he sees the Indians logo, how many you think are going to say it is inappropriate? By all means, if the Native Americans would like the names and logos changed, then absolutely yes change them. But, if people (not involved in the issue) want it changed to ride the coattails of social injustice protesting and it is now the righteousness of the week that we are being told we should care about then that is not the way to go about change. In writing this I don't care what people think about my opinions. Putting present day ideals on past transgressions is not something we should be doing. I love the Civil War and believe everything from antebellum to reconstruction should be preserved (even if it is in museums) and not destroyed, I think changing 70-yr old cartoons and band names is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of (which doesn't mean it is right or wrong, just that imo the large majority of people wouldn't care if this was say 2005 or whatever when the social injustice movement wasn't as loud) and wreaks of people searching for something to complain about. If this opinion makes I and Jsinger snowflakes, then melt away I guess, until all of us think the same way and are a country of 1 opinion.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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I'm sorry I am with Jsinger in this in that he is entitled to his opinion and the responses to him are not helping the situation. The only people who should be not only offended (if they want to be) or asked if they are offended are the minorities involved. I say this as a disabled man who laughs at able-bodied people who are aghast when I joke with people about my condition. Let me worry about whether or not I am offended, people trying to tell people how they should feel whether outwardly or inwardly is just as wrong. If you ask Joe Blow on the street what he thinks when he sees the Indians logo, how many you think are going to say it is inappropriate? By all means, if the Native Americans would like the names and logos changed, then absolutely yes change them. But, if people (not involved in the issue) want it changed to ride the coattails of social injustice protesting and it is now the righteousness of the week that we are being told we should care about then that is not the way to go about change. In writing this I don't care what people think about my opinions. Putting present day ideals on past transgressions is not something we should be doing. I love the Civil War and believe everything from antebellum to reconstruction should be preserved (even if it is in museums) and not destroyed, I think changing 70-yr old cartoons and band names is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of (which doesn't mean it is right or wrong, just that imo the large majority of people wouldn't care if this was say 2005 or whatever when the social injustice movement wasn't as loud) and wreaks of people searching for something to complain about. If this opinion makes I and Jsinger snowflakes, then melt away I guess, until all of us think the same way and are a country of 1 opinion.
Maybe you should educate yourself on to when these monuments and statues were put up. (Here is a hint...they were not put up in any of the timeframe you want to preserve).

You can have your opinion. Your opinion can be on the wrong side of history.
 

jmanny24

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Maybe you should educate yourself on to when these monuments and statues were put up. (Here is a hint...they were not put up in any of the timeframe you want to preserve).

You can have your opinion. Your opinion can be on the wrong side of history.
Thanks for the lesson I am well aware of when they were put up and have always thought they should be in a place where people can choose to view them if they choose (if people have decided they should not be out in public view).Getting this back on track if the Indians feel they should change their name, there is nothing wrong with that, just like there is nothing wrong with Jsinger having the opinion he has and shouldn't be piled upon for it.
 

RIFan

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Thanks for the lesson I am well aware of when they were put up and have always thought they should be in a place where people can choose to view them if they choose (if people have decided they should not be out in public view).Getting this back on track if the Indians feel they should change their name, there is nothing wrong with that, just like there is nothing wrong with Jsinger having the opinion he has and shouldn't be piled upon for it.
He is entitled to his opinion and others are entitled to their opinion of his opinion.
 

staz

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Seems to me that if the logo were more respectful, the name wouldn't be a problem. My indigenous friends don't have a problem with the term. I'll ask what they think of the team name.
This is about where I'm at. If I were naming an expansion team today, I probably wouldn't consider a racial group, but since Chief Wahoo is now retired, is the term "Indian" (or Braves/Warriors) really offensive to anyone? Is the Celtics' leprechaun logo that much different than Chief Wahoo? What about the Vikings? Or Canadiens? Heck, Buccaneers, Raiders and Pirates basically pay homage to murderous criminals... where do you draw the line?
 

jmanny24

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He is entitled to his opinion and others are entitled to their opinion of his opinion.
Sure but there are better ways to express it than calling people snowflakes and implicitly piling on them. I'm with Staz, my issue is where do you draw the line. Balancing out the scales is absolutely well and good, but tilting them so far in the other direction in order to prove how "non-something" we are now, shouldnt be the intentions
 

pedro1918

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Is the Celtics' leprechaun logo that much different than Chief Wahoo?
I'm pretty sure there is a difference. And it's a big one.

1. I have met plenty of indigenous people. They are real people who walk the earth.

2. Since they are fictional creatures, I have never met a leprechaun.

What about the Vikings? Or Canadiens? Heck, Buccaneers, Raiders and Pirates basically pay homage to murderous criminals... where do you draw the line?
To quote John Oliver, "Somewhere. You draw the line fucking somewhere."
 

benhogan

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Yep. We went from a Native American nickname and mascot to a fruit that has nothing to do with upstate New York to....a color. We are now just a color. With a fruit mascot (still the best in the NCAA, of course).
Back in the mid-80s, occasionally some wingnut would get dressed up at the Dome in a futile attempt to bring back the Warrior. Even my 18yr old self thought it was cringeworthy

I don't really see this as a Conservative vs Liberal thing, since the most Liberal place on the planet is also on the wrong side here.