The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced on Friday that the team will be renamed the Cleveland Guardians.
The new name will be used after the completion of the 2021 season. “Guardians” refers to the “Guardians of Traffic” Art Deco statues that have stood on Cleveland’s Lorain-Carnegie Bridge since 1932.
Introducing the Cleveland Guardians!
The name will go into effect after the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/ggCFyIRD2y
— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2021
The name “Guardians” “brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family,” team owner Paul Dolan said in a statement. “While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
The team said in December 2020 that it would change the name. Critics have for years contended that the name is racist.
In 2018, the Indians removed the Chief Wahoo logo from players’ jerseys and caps, although the team has continued to sell merchandise with the logo.
The name change follows a similar announcement from the former Washington Redskins football team last summer. A new name will be revealed in 2022, while the team is currently known as the Washington Football Team.
“[Owner] Dan Synder and Coach [Ron] Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years,” the team said in a statement in July 2020.