Major League Baseball side Cleveland to drop ‘Indians’ from team name amid criticism it is racist

The team is expected to use the name in the 2021 season before changing in 2022

Sports Staff
Monday 14 December 2020 10:49
Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians

Major League Baseball side the Cleveland Indians will change their team name amid criticism that it is racist, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Cleveland have carried the 'Indians' nickname for 105 years.

The move comes after the NFL's Washington team bowed to public pressure and announced it would change its name.

The issue of racial inequality was amplified this year by the voices of U.S. athletes following the high-profile deaths of Black people in police custody.

The decision is likely to be announced officially this week, US media reported, but the team is expected to continue to use their current name for the 2021 season before a transition in 2022.

The 105-year-old name has long faced criticism from Native American groups and some portions of the team’s fanbase.

Calls to move away from names that have roots in racial discrimination grew louder with the massive Black Lives Matter protests this summer, culminating in the Washington “Redskins” officially changing their name in July.

President Donald Trump criticised the move, responding on Twitter: “Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for 'Indians’. Cancel culture at work!”

In July, the Cleveland Indians announced that they were considering a name change after the police killing of George Floyd sparked a debate over racism in America.  

“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 at the time. “Our organisation fully recognises our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.”


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