Cleveland Indians To Change Name, Following in WFT’s Footsteps; My Reaction

Since the ground breaking announcement back in July 2020 of the Washington Redskins changing their name, it was recently reported that the Cleveland Indians will be doing the same, after 105 years with their nickname. This has come in the wake of many protests and concerns of both the logo and name being “racially insensitive”.

On the evening of December 13th, a NY Times article dropped the bombshell news, being the first news source to drop information about the team’s direction on changing their name.

“It is not immediately clear what Cleveland’s exact steps will be beyond dropping the Indians name. The transition to a new name involves many logistical considerations, including work with uniform manufacturers and companies that produce other team equipment and stadium signage,” writes the article’s authors David Waldstein and Michael S. Schmidt.

However, several points were noted that the team has made it clear that the change will come after the 2021 season, they will not use the word “tribe”, and will not use an interim name like “The Baseball Team”.

Now as a Cleveland fan what are my thoughts on this you may and probably may not be asking? It took me a full 24 hours to wrap my head around it and heres the 411 going on in the 216.

When the Redskins announced they were going to change their name to what is now just “The Football Team”, I not only thought it was silly to just leave a team with no identity, but it would be completely different calling a team a new name after years of their old identity. However, after doing some pondering and taking a long walk with my dog listening to Kansas’s “Dust In The Wind”, I was able to do some soul searching to give a reaction to this piece.

Just because something is there forever doesn’t make it right or meaningful and it hit a little bit to home for me when it’s your own team going through the big media headlines. I can’t speak for those who for years have been trying to get teams with similar branding to change their name and how those logos and brands have impacted their lives. With this, I feel like there needs to be some type of line of what’s deemed “offensive” and what seems acceptable: i.e “Indians = bad, but Chiefs or Blackhawks are fine”(not saying what’s right or wrong, just using it as an example). However, being both a mediocre blogger with having too much time off from work, as well as a graduate with a degree in HR, I have always tried to pride myself in being as objective as I can when discussing any topic and see both sides to form an opinion. With that I can see both how the “wahoo” could be offensive and how the organization had been feeling the pressure, like many other teams, to change the name.

Brown’s Insider, Daryl Ruiter, made a few good points on his Twitter last night trying to bring some upside to this news, suggesting that this will be a good way to source revenue in a new and fresh rebranding for merchandise (which from a business POV makes sense I suppose). He does go on say he is not a fan of the “Block C” as a possible permanent logo, which I had to disagree with. People will say it’s boring and generic, but I was always a fan of the C on the front of the ball caps.

So with that I was and will be upset with the name change for now, but will remain optimistic and it will interesting to see where the team goes and how the fans will take the hit in years to come.

More details to come.

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