CLEVELAND – Manager Terry Francona praised the Cleveland Indians’ decision to “do the right thing” by making a name change that has become inevitable – and necessary.
Francona applauded the team’s decision to change its name after 105 years on Friday, a move that came after months of discussions and meetings with many groups. And a decision that will mark the end of an era for the American League Club.
“I’m proud of the fact that we’ve made the decision to do the right thing,” Francona said during a video conference from her home in Arizona.
The team upheld the decision on Monday, ending a process that began even before owner Paul Dolan’s announcement in July – made just hours after the Washington football team made the decision to replace his name – indicating that the baseball team should begin a name review process.
Dolan told The Associated Press that the team will still be called the Indians in 2021, and that they will not adopt a temporary name until they find another. Dolan also told the AP that the name ‘Tribe’, the team’s popular nickname with fans, will not be an option, since the license seeks to delete references to indigenous communities completely.
However, this does not mean that the team will completely delete its history.
“This is not the idea behind this decision,” Francona explained. What I mean is, ‘Hey, we’re always done this way, so let’s keep doing it.’ If we had done this once, Jackie Robinson would never have been able to play in the Major League.
“No one wanted to respect anyone, but that is not a satisfactory answer anymore,” he added.
Francona is aware that it may take time for people to agree to this change.
“What people need to understand is that we are first and foremost proud of the city the team represents, ‘Cleveland,'” he said. I hope we will never hear a player say anything other than that. And maybe next year, fans and people will have fun contributing to this process. “
– By Tom Withers, Associated Press
The Canadian Press