Cleveland’s baseball staff adjustments title to Guardians

A Cleveland Indians employee runs with a flag with the logo of Block C on it prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on July 02, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jason Miller | Getty Images

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team changes its name to Guardians, announcing the franchise on Friday, dropping the racially offensive name by which it has been known for more than a century.

The Guardians name is a nod to well-known Art Deco statues on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, which spans the Cuyahoga River and connects downtown Cleveland with trendy Ohio City. These statues are known as the “guardians of traffic”.

The franchise, which announced the name change in a tweet on Friday morning, had long been pressured by activists locally and nationally to give up the name “Indians”, which critics described as racist. It was the name of the baseball club since 1915.

The video announcing the name change didn’t say when it will take effect. However, MLB.com reported that this will happen for the next season. The 2021 season is currently running, with the Cleveland franchise ranked second in the American League Central.

The NFL’s Washington Football team dropped its previous name last year, criticized as degrading to Native Americans, as corporate backlash intensified. The franchise temporarily took over the Washington Football Team and played under that name last season. For the upcoming 2021 campaign, it will continue to be known as the Washington Football Team.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that a new name and logo will be announced in early 2022.

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