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Cleveland Indians Baseball Team Set To Ditch Controversial Nickname

Cleveland Indians Baseball Team Set To Ditch Controversial Nickname

Earlier this year, we saw NFL side the Washington Redskins scrap their nickname.

Now it looks like MLB outfit the Cleveland Indians are set to follow suit.

The Cleveland-based baseball franchise has announced its plans to ditch the team's 105-year-old nickname and Chief Wahoo logo following years of backlash from fans.

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On top of that, it's understood there has been mounting pressure from corporate sponsors, stakeholders and retailers to get the name changed.

The Chief Wahoo logo on an Indians baseball cap. Credit: PA
The Chief Wahoo logo on an Indians baseball cap. Credit: PA

The moniker itself has clear ties to Native Indian-Americans - another group who has cited issues regarding the racial undertones in the overall branding.

And after years of criticism, it appears the team's owners have finally decided to listen.

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According to The New York Times, the franchise could announce its long-term plans as early as this week.

But while the team has taken the initial step of agreeing to ditch its nickname, don't expect this to be a quick procedure.

Unlike the former Redskins who simply renamed themselves "Washington Football Team" while they come up with a permanent replacement, it's understood Cleveland has opted to stick with its nickname and logo for the 2021 season with the hope of implementing an entire re-brand by the beginning of 2022.

"We'll be the Indians in 2021 and then after that, it's a difficult and complex process to identify a new name and do all the things you do around activating that name," team owner Paul Dolan said.

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"We are going to work at as quick a pace as we can while doing it right.

"But we're not going to do something just for the sake of doing it. We're going to take the time we need to do it right.

"We don't want to be the Cleveland Baseball Team or some other interim name. We will continue to be the Indians until we have identified the next name that will hopefully take us through multiple centuries."

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Native American groups and countless sports fans have praised the franchise - but not everyone was happy.

Upon hearing the news, United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter (of course) to share his thoughts.

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He said: "Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for "Indians". Cancel culture at work!"

And on social media, it appears people remained fairly divided on the issue too.

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Racism, reaction, Baseball, Social Media, MLB, Donald Trump, Australia

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.