Well, the time is finally upon us.
The iconic Cleveland Indians will very soon be going the way of the dodo bird.
That’s according to The New York Times, which cites three anonymous sources saying the name-drop’s happening as early as this week.
The Times reports the deal’s been sealed.
However, the transformation may not occur all at once.
In fact, one source said the club may retain its tribal moniker throughout the entirety of the 2021 season. That would provide more time to swap out gear, not to mention all that branded merchandise.
The Indians won’t be the first warriors to get whacked this year. As you may recall, the Washington Redskins ditched its mired mascot in July, favoring the blandest name in all of sports: the Washington Football Team.
Effective immediately, Washington will call itself the “Washington Football Team”, pending adoption of a new name, sources tell ESPN.
This is not a final renaming and rebranding for team; this is the name it wants to use until pending adoption of a new name in the future. pic.twitter.com/sBs0Uo0ICm
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 23, 2020
I’d say that’s zero levels above “the Washington Washingtons.”
Nevertheless, per two people who spoke to the Times, Cleveland could actually follow suit.
How’d ya like to cheer for the Cleveland Baseball Team?
Personally, I’d love to root for the Cleveland Clevelands:
As for ending the Indians, the baseball team’s been tossing around a change for quite a while.
Over the summer, the organization released a statement indicating a look at options — and announcing it’s their responsibility to engage in social activism:
We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.
We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice.
With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.
While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 4, 2020
At the time, reactions were mixed:
As a lifelong fan, I support Cleveland baseball. Thankfully the absurdly racist caricature is gone. The name change is long overdue. Please move forward on providing the fans with wonderful entertainment with a new name. Native Americans aren’t mascots, they are human beings.
— Nick Kadylak (@whammer1249) July 4, 2020
Don’t give into peer pressure. First they want our Cartoon Mascot, now our name. People can’t handle anything these days
— Cassandra➕ (@cassandra_misch) July 4, 2020
Y’all are sick, ignorant and insensitive. How can you tell groups of ppl that have been brutally murdered and oppressed bc of their skin that they “shouldn’t be offended” by a team named after them in a derogatory fashion or in general
— Caleb Kinlaw (@Boogie_32) July 4, 2020
Dropping Chief Wahoo as a mascot was one thing, but change the name, and add me to the list of folks that will stop supporting the team. This cancel culture is out of control.
— Tim (@timthies) July 4, 2020
Are you an Indians fan? Will the change mean anything to you, or would you be great championing the Cleveland Baseball Team?
If the Times (in addition to The Wall Street Journal) is right, t’s a decision a lot of people will be making very soon.
Therefore, the obvious question remains:
How long can you last, Kansas City Chiefs?
Kansas City Chiefs outlaw Native American costumes at stadium https://t.co/u3avvFAvg0
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 23, 2020
Oh yeah, I got to give the drum a go on the new Drum Deck. @jcharles25 will be here before kickoff this Sunday. The @Chiefs’ leading rusher will be the first drum deck honoree for a regular season game (I’ll be on standby). pic.twitter.com/13M8R1xqLv
— Charlie Keegan (@CharlieKeegan41) September 20, 2019
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