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Cleveland’s MLB Drops ‘Indians’ Name With Rebrand Ushering Era Of ‘Guardians’
By Alexa Heah, 26 Jul 2021
Image by Cleveland Guardians
Since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball (MLB) team has been known as the ‘Indians’. However, starting next season, the club will be changing its name to the ‘Guardians’.
Last week, the club released a video – narrated by Tom Hanks – announcing the name change, following months of discussions after institutions and teams across the nation began to remove logos and names that could be considered racist.
According to ESPN, the new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices, known as traffic guardians, that stand on both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge.
Team owner Paul Dolan said he found himself taking a closer look at the Art Deco sculptures as the final decision on the name change loomed.
The team took over a year to come to its decision, spending over 140 hours interviewing fans and community leaders, including a survey of over 40,000 fans, before deciding on ‘Guardians’.
“Frankly, I hadn’t studied them that closely until we started talking about them and I should emphasize, we’re not named after the bridge, but there’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” Dolan said in a press conference.
However, the owner did acknowledge that longtime fans may struggle to adjust to the new name.
“I’m 63 years old, and they’ve been the ‘Indians’ since I was aware of them, probably since I was four or five years old, so it will take a long time. But we’re not asking anybody to give up their memories or the history of the franchise that will always be there. And for people my age and older, most of our life is going to be living as an ‘Indian’ and not as a ‘Guardian’.”
While the club’s colors will remain the same, its new logo will be incorporating elements of the bridge to symbolize the origins of its new name. Take a look at the heartwarming announcement video below.
A fresh look from the 216. pic.twitter.com/0W8VTtZ7b0— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
Together, we are all... pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
Why Guardians?— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 24, 2021
Our fans spoke and we listened. pic.twitter.com/QV5NSwk4Ez
[via ESPN, cover image by Cleveland Guardians]
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