The owner of the Cleveland Indians major league baseball team says he will meet with Native American leaders and members of the community in the coming weeks to discuss the team’s name going forward.
In a statement released by team owner Paul Dolan on July 23, representatives with the team will “engage” with Native American leaders to “better understand their perspectives, meet with local civic leaders, and continue to listen to the perceptions of our players, fans, partners and employees.
“I am invested in engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to help determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
The Twitter hashtag for the team is #ourtribe.
Cleveland is the latest professional sports team to move towards a new name.
On Monday, Edmonton’s team in the Canadian Football League announced that it was leaving behind its name which some Inuit found offensive.
Perhaps the most striking move came from Washington D.C. where the team in the National Football League announced it was dropping its name.
That name, which APTN News will not print, was widely accepted as racist
Owner Dan Snyder only agreed to change it once the team’s major sponsors including Fed Ex and Nike threatened to drop the team.
Other teams that are still holding on are the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.
In 2018, Cleveland dropped its team mascot which was a caricature of a Native American chief that many found offensive. The caricature appeared on team hats and the sleeves of the uniforms.
Push back against the team’s name in Canada started with Toronto Blue Jays play by play radio announcer refusing to use the team’s name during broadcasts.
Then, Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal launched a court action asking that the team name not be used in Canada. Cardinal lost.