Cleveland Indians Name Change Coming

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The Cleveland Indians name change has been discussed over the last decade, however, the club is now changing their name. This development comes on the heels of the team abandoning its old mascot.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: A Movement for Change

For decades, Native American groups have asked sports teams to drop indigenous people as a mascot for their clubs. After all, Native Americans were systematically dehumanized by the United States government, which often used demeaning and offensive portrayals as it literally waged war to invade Indian Country and kill or evict the inhabitants. Many of the mascots adopted by usually white-owned sports clubs in the 20th Century used similar degrading images.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is elected by Native Americans to represent them on the national stage. Largely concerned with more pressing issues like employment, housing, and treaty recognition, the NCAI did take some time to consider the sports mascot issue. After much deliberation, the organization passed a resolution officially calling for teams to abandon their native nicknames. The NCAI resolution notes that the mascots and names have a harmful effect on the portrayal of Native Americans to both Native and non-Native alike.

For years, teams largely failed to oblige. In the past two decades, however, momentum has changed. Many teams adopted new mascots and nicknames. Notable examples include the Arkansas State Red Wolves (née Indians), Dickinson State Blue Hawks (née Savages), and Washington Football Team (née Redskins). The Cleveland baseball team itself dropped the Chief Wahoo logo in the last decade.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Possible Replacements

Given the history and the wishes of Native Americans, Cleveland’s decision is entirely reasonable. Moreover, it is their decision to make. Now team leadership will have to select a new name. A few contenders include:

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Cleveland Spiders

Cy Young won 511 games, struck out 2,803 opponents, and had the pitcher of the year award named in his honor. The Dead Ball Era hurler got his start with the Cleveland Spiders and led the team to victory in the 1895 Temple Cup (arguably equivalent to today’s World Series or National League Championship Series). The Spiders played 13 seasons, first in the American Association and then the National League. The club was contracted after posting the worst record in the history of major league baseball.

Plus, the Spiders is just a fun mascot. The merchandise practically sells itself, and October is a natural time for Spiders.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Cleveland Forest Citys

The first major league club to represent Cleveland. The Forest Citys played five seasons but failed to win a pennant.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Cleveland Rock-n-Rollers

Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a nickname reflecting this landmark could work. If marketed correctly, the team could tie in musical performances to increase the brand strength and merchandise sales.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Cleveland Blues

The second name for a Cleveland major league club, the Blues were not a very good team. So bad, in fact, that several of their stars leapt at the opportunity to change not only teams but leagues when the rival Union Association opened its gates, spelling doom for the Blues.

Cleveland Indians Name Change: Cleveland Naps

Don’t snooze on the Naps! Named for star player Napoleon Lajoie, this nickname is likely to remain asleep.

Cleveland Lake Shores

Another name used by the current Cleveland club at an early point in its history, something about Lake Shores feels not specific enough for Cleveland today.

Fans Should Have a Say

So what do you think should be the new name of the Cleveland team? Share your idea and link this article on your social media, and be sure to @OT_Heroics when you do!

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