In the last several months, there has been an increased emphasis toward social consciousness in the United States. The conversation has led to some significant changes in the sports world. All that has guided the Cleveland Indians to embark on the same progress move that the Washington Football Team choose to do earlier this year.
Strong social push to change offensive sports team names
Earlier this year, the United States went through a strong push for social change after a slew of highly scrutinized incidents of social injustice.
The movement spilled over to a stronger emphasis from Native Americans and others to get the Washington Football Team to remove their nickname. The process took a concerted effort as franchise owner Dan Snyder pushed back for years at the strong external outcry.
Snyder backed his stance in the notion that the previous name held much history behind it, with nearly 90 years of using it. Push finally came to shove as the team’s a few notable sponsors put a financial stake in the situation. FedEx, who holds the naming rights to the franchise under a $205 million deal that runs through 2025, requested the team to change their name.
Things continued to transpire in that manner as other companies such as Nike, Amazon, and Pepsi pressured Snyder and Washington into the massive change. The team finally folded into that direction by electing to remove their previous name before the 2020 season.
Snyder’s commitment to the move has put the franchise in a better light with the chance to reshape its image. The Cleveland Indians have now followed suit to that process.
Cleveland finally drops their team nickname
The Cleveland Indians have stuck firmly behind their team nickname for the last 105 years.
Cleveland has rolled with the name without much thought toward any changes. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the organization is finally heading the route toward dropping the name entirely at some point this week.
The franchise has swiftly moved in that direction months after the Washington Football Team. Cleveland wants to finally shed their nickname and imagery that many believe has a racist tone toward Native Americans.
The organization played more than 17,000 games with the nickname and won a pair of World Series titles. Over the years, there have commonly been protests held outside of Progressive Field. Meanwhile, many local fans grew to have a connection with the previous nickname.
The franchise took the first steps in that direction last year by replacing the Chief Wahoo hats with ones that displayed a block C. Team owner Paul Dolan has now finally folded after years of continued public outcry for the name change with a progressive change ahead.
What lies ahead next?
Following the expected announcement of Cleveland’s name change in the coming days, the next step lies with finding their next nickname.
It’s quite early in the process as the organization is currently uncertain about what they will choose to replace it. The franchise will likely take their time in the selection process despite the 2021 season still being months away.
Cleveland can go the same route as Washington with a generic name with the Cleveland Baseball Team in the meantime. The move opens up an entirely new situation for the organization gives them a clean slate to start anew with their image and representation.
There should be much plenty of clarity on this front in the coming months as the organization works through the process.