After protests from Native American groups and fans, the Cleveland Indians are finally changing their name.
According to the New York Times, the Cleveland baseball team will change its name after 105 years. The use of an Indian as a mascot has been criticized as racist and as a result, there has been a push to drop the nickname. This is a long time coming as Native American groups have been pushing for sports team to not use their cultural iconography and imagery as mascots.
This seems like the final step in shifting away from the racially insensitive nickname, as the Cleveland team spent much of 2019 phasing out the offensive imagery of the cartoon mascot Chief Wahoo.
The New York Times reports that Cleveland will keep its team name for 2021 and change in 2022.
This comes at a time when the country is witnessing a reckoning when it comes to systemic racism and police violence. It also comes after NFL’s Washington Football Team dropped “Redskins” as its nickname in July. Native American groups are continuing to push for professional sports teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Blackhawks and the Atlanta Braves to follow suit.