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Indians 'Exploring The Possibility' Of A Name Change

The announcement to consider a name change comes shortly after a similar announcement by the Washington, D.C., football team. [Cleveland Indians]
Cleveland Indians jersey

The Cleveland Indians are exploring the possibility of a change in the team’s name.

The Indians issued a statement Friday night saying it would seek input on its name.

“We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name,” the statement reads.


The move came on the heels of news from Washington that the NFL franchise there, the Redskins, was considering a change of its name.

Redskins management said it would conduct a “thorough review” of the team’s name a day after FedEx, which has a naming rights deal with the team’s stadium, requested a name change.

For years, those dissatisfied with the Redskins name, and the Indians, have called for change. But the current Black Lives Matter movement has put a spotlight on the issue.

The Indians statement read: “The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice.”

Last year, the team stopped using on its uniforms the Chief Wahoo mascot, a controversial caricature of a Native American.

The Indians said in the team statement, “We recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.”

Mike McIntyre is the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media.