Since 1915, Cleveland’s MLB outfit has gone by the “Indians” name. Now, following years of debate spurred on by social unrest, the team’s ownership has decided to change the name. In recent weeks, they narrowed down the list of options and finally landed on one.
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing your brand new Cleveland Guardians.
The move is reminiscent of what we saw happen in the NFL recently. The Washington football franchise had long been criticized for touting a name considered insensitive by certain Native American groups. In 2020, the team’s ownership decided to distance themselves from the longstanding “Redskins” name in favor of the far less specific “Football Team.”
For Cleveland’s MLB team, the decision was a no-brainer. And it never hurts when you get Tom Hanks to narrate an announcement video.
“We are a city on the rise, forging into the future from our ironed out past. We are a city of fire and water, of trees and towers, built through generations of blue collars and the brightest scholars, and all of those who have worked harder,” Hanks narrates in the video. “You see, it has always been Cleveland that’s the best part of our name.”
In 2018, the Cleveland MLB team took a big step that led to this moment. They removed the controversial Chief Wahoo depiction from their official uniforms. Moreso than the outdated and outright inaccurate term used for our country’s native population that defined the team for a century, the removal of the caricature was a major victory for Native American groups.
Now, the organization has taken the final step by rebranding itself as the Cleveland Guardians. And to be expected, the announcement has been met with a mixed reception.
Twitter Reacts To The Cleveland MLB Team Name Change
Sports fans can be very dedicated types of people. Social issues aside, someone who has been a diehard fan of a team for 30 years may not appreciate a sudden name change. On the other hand, many fans who are just as dedicated couldn’t be happier with Cleveland’s decision. Neither camp held their opinions back.
“I’m so happy!!!!!!! I’m gonna cry I’ve been waiting for this day since I was a little kid, I’m so ready to replace all my merch,” one excited Guardians fan wrote in response to the announcement video.
Others were less than pleased upon hearing the news.
“That seals the deal. I am no longer a Guardians fan. This team is a pure and utter embarrassment to the city of Cleveland . I officially will not be renewing my plan next season nor will I watch ever again,” a disappointed fan replied.
Some were simply evaluating the name change on its merits as a mascot and logo.
“Initial reaction: not bad, was rooting for Spiders, Guardians better suited for an NFL team, horrible logo,” an honest observer remarked.