After 105 Years, the Cleveland Indians Will Finally Change Its Racist Name and Donald Trump is Not Happy
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
After 105 years of having a racist moniker as their team name, the Cleveland Indians has finally decided to change their name.
The New York Times broke the news on Sunday, speaking to three anonymous sources with inside information. Per the Times, the baseball team will apparently formally announce the news as early as this week.
The Cleveland Indians have long come under criticism for having what many consider a racial slur against Native Americans as their team name.
Crystal Echo Hawk, an indigenous activist and member of Pawnee tribe once told USA Today that sports teams that brand themselves with Native American imagery “impacts not only how people view us, but also how we view ourselves. These mascots propagate offensive stereotypes, and scientific studies have shown they increase rates of depression and anxiety among our youth.”
In 2018, the Cleveland Indians retired the mascot they’d had for 71 years, “Chief Wahoo”. “Chief Wahoo” was a racist caricature of a Native American. The mascot had bright red skin, an exaggerated nose, and a feather pinned to the back of his head. Ironically, the mascot last appeared on the players’ uniforms on Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Columbus Day in 2018.
Native Americans have long called for the Cleveland Indians to retire their mascot and change their name.
According to the sources that The New York Times interviewed, the transition from being called the “Indians” to a new name (one that is still undecided) will be a difficult one. The Cleveland baseball team will have to phase out all merchandise, retire their current uniforms, and work with a manufacturer to create new equipment and signage. In other words, they have an expensive undertaking ahead of them. One that probably should have been done a long time ago.
The decision to finally change the team’s offensive name comes after a tumultuous year where many American institutions faced a racial reckoning.
Many spokespeople of old that were rooted in minstrelsy, like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, were retired by brands in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. It appears that the Cleveland baseball team has also finally heeded its critics.
In July, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins finally dropped their offensive name as well. The team now goes by the Washington Football Team while they decide on a new name.
But of course, not everyone is happy with the name change. Some believe that the MLB team is becoming too “politically correct”.
None other than President Trump tweeted out his displeasure at the news, calling it “not good news” and claiming that the name change was “cancel culture at work”.
Contrary to what Trump thinks, when a brand evolves to be less offensive and respect the culture of a marginalized community, it isn’t giving into “cancel culture”, but is actually…working towards a better world. We know Donnie doesn’t know much about that.
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