- The Cleveland Indians on Friday announced plans to change their name to the Cleveland Guardians.
- The new name alludes to the “Guardians of Traffic” statues on Cleveland’s Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.
- The team announced in December that it was looking for a new name.
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The Cleveland Indians are changing their name to the Cleveland Guardians.
The team announced its rebranded nickname in a video narrated by Tom Hanks and posted to Twitter on Friday.
The name Guardians alludes to well-known art-deco statues known as the “Guardians of Traffic” on Cleveland’s Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.
“We are loyal and proud and resilient,” Hanks said in the announcement video. “We protect what we’ve earned and always defend it. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the Land.”
The new name will be implemented in the 2022 season, MLB.com reported.
-Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
In a May interview on WAKR’s “Ray Horning Morning Show,” the team owner Paul Dolan had said it would take a while for the changes to be implemented commercially.
“You can imagine everything that goes into bringing a new name of an organization and activating it,” he said. “Whether it’s uniforms, it’s all the signage, it’s everything that we are. So if we don’t get that done by a certain date, then we’d have to push it to the following year.”
Cleveland is among several sports teams that have announced name changes in recent years after facing decades of backlash for having American Indian mascots.
Dolan said in December that the team was seeking a new name after speaking with tribal communities about the “detrimental effects” the team’s mascot had on them.
The organization had also said in a statement in June of last year that national unrest over issues of social injustice and racial inequality had spurred the need for a new name.
“We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues,” the team had said in a statement. “The recent 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.
“With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
The team stopped using its Chief Wahoo logo in 2019.