Cleveland Indians Will Change Name After 2021 Season to be More ‘Acceptable’

Cleveland Indians by On Location in Los Angeles is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Cleveland Indians baseball team have had their team name for over 100 years, but after next year that will be changing.

The news was confirmed on Monday, Dec. 14 by the team’s owner Paul Dolan, who said the Indians will keep their name for the 2021 season but then begin the “difficult and complex process to identify a new name.”

Dolan added that the team won’t choose a new name quickly but will “take the time we need to do it right.”

Why are the Indians Changing Their Team Name?

The forces of political correctness are getting stronger and even America’s favorite pastime isn’t immune.

According to owner Dolan: “it was a learning process for me and I think when fair-minded, open-minded people really look at it, think about it and maybe even spend some time studying it, I like to think they would come to the same conclusion: it’s a name that had its time, but this is not the time now, and certainly going forward, the name is no longer acceptable in our world.”

Think about that: it’s a name that’s no longer acceptable in our world. 

At least the Indians won’t be as absurd as the NFL’s former Washington Redskins who got rid of their name this summer and have gone by “Washington Football Team” since then.

“We will continue to be the Indians until we have identified the next name that will hopefully take us through multiple centuries,” Dolan said.

That’s pretty optimistic, considering that what is offensive seems to get updated every week or two, but good luck to them.

The Indians Name Change Doesn’t Come as a Surprise

The Indians changing their name isn’t really a surprise, considering the media-generated controversy over the Washington Redskins’ name and the Indians growing attempt to come up with names for themselves.

“The new name, and I do not know what it is, will not be a name that has Native American themes or connotations to it. Frankly, (Tribe) would have been a name that I would have loved to pivot to,” Dolan said. “But in talking to these groups, they made it very clear that the issues that are attached to the Indians don’t go away with Tribe, particularly since Tribe has been tied to the experience of our team for many many decades.”

Got that? Even “tribe” is too problematic and politically incorrect for the Indians.

Before their name was the Indians the team was previously called the Naps, the Bronchos and the Blues, although other than the Naps the names only stuck around for a season each. The team started as the Blues in 1901, switched to the Bronchos in 1902 and then went more than ten seasons as the naps from 1903 to 1914 named after Nap Lajoie, one of the biggest stars in the major leagues.

2016 ALDS Game 1 – Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians by shell24_7 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dolan admits that ditching the Indians name is a bit sad.

“There is definitely some pain in this. It’s the end of an era or the beginning of an era. But accompanying that is the recognition and maybe even excitement that we’re going on to do something that is better. It will be better for the community. It will be better for our team. And it will be something hopefully that unites everybody,” Dolan said.

“It’s not anything that we have to feel any kind of reluctance about expressing. It’s going to take some time for everybody to embrace but I think when they do, we’ll all be better off for it.”

What About Other Teams With Supposedly Offensive Names?

The Atlanta Braves have not indicated they are going to change their name, although the media has criticized them for using a “Tomahawk Chop” motion.

This trend toward changing “offensive” names and being politically correct is worrisome because it shows a culture that is more worried about words and being offended than actually coming together as a society and getting over petty differences.

What do you think about the Cleveland Indians changing their team name? What should their new name be?