Major League Baseball announced Friday morning that the Cleveland Indians are changing their name to the Cleveland Guardians starting next season. The team’s previous name drew many criticisms for decades from Native American groups.
The team posted a video on their Twitter Friday morning, and they got actor Tom Hanks to do the narration. “You see, there’s always been a Cleveland, that’s the best part of our name, and now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city,” said Hanks.
Last year, the team announced that they will change their name alongside NFL’s Washington Football Team to appropriate the indigenous culture. After the 2018 season, Cleveland removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms.
Team owner and chairman, Paul Dolan said in a statement, “We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland. Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
Dolan also talked about the inspiration of the new name. “Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge.”
He continued, “While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”