After facing years of pressure to change their racially offensive name, the Cleveland Indians will now be the Guardians.
The team has had the same name since 1915, but franchise owner Paul Dolan made the decision to change it following the unrest of 2020 surrounding George Floyd’s death and police brutality.
In 2018, the team chose to stop using their “Chief Wahoo” logo because it was no longer considered appropriate for use in MLB. Many Native Americans have protested the name for years outside the stadium.
This announcement was made via Twitter in a video narrated by Tom Hanks.
And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community to build the next era for this team in this city, to keep watch, and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us,Tom Hanks
The name change is expected to go into effect next season. Dolan added that “‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge”. He hopes the new name will unify fans and the city.
We are loyal and proud and resilient. We protect what we’ve earned, and always defended. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land, because this is the city we love and the game we believe in. And together, we are all Cleveland Guardians.Tom Hanks
The team’s colors will stay the same, red and navy blue, and over 40,000 fans were surveyed to choose a new name.
Many are not happy about the new name, arguing that the forced change is hurting culture. Donald Trump added “Can anybody believe that the Cleveland Indians, a storied and cherished baseball franchise since taking the name in 1915, are changing their name to the Guardians? Such a disgrace,” in a statement on Friday.