Cleveland Indians changing team name to Guardians; Oneida Nation sees it as positive change

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Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 10:06 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2021 4:26 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) - Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change on Twitter, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club’s die-hard fans. The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process quickly accelerated.

Oneida Indian Nation representative and leader of the Change the Mascot campaign, Ray Halbritter commended the decision.

“This has been many years in the making, and we are pleased to watch professional sports organizations move forward to make change. It’s a welcome development toward showing respect for Native people," he said. "The Cleveland baseball team and the Washington football team are choosing to stand on the right side of history and demonstrating that long-standing traditions denigrating Native Americans can give way toward positive ways forward.”

Halbritter also appeared on ESPN to discuss the new moniker.

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