The Cleveland Indians will change their name after 105 years.
Referring to three people who know the ruling, The New York Times reported Sunday night that the team would turn the page on the name that has been considered racist for decades. The Indians have been discussing name change internally for several months.
A spokesman for the team revealed to The Associated Press that there would be no immediate comment regarding the report.
The New York Times reported that the team could make an official announcement later this week. It is still unclear when the change will take effect, or whether the team has chosen a new name.
The Indians’ move is in the same direction as what was done earlier this year by the Washington Soccer Team, formerly known in the NFL as the Redskins.
For years, Native American groups and others have been protesting against the use of the name Indians by the city of Cleveland and against the images used by the team founded in 1901. Last year, the team removed the logo. controversial “Chief Wahoo” of caps and uniforms, but the smiling mascot has remained popular and items in his image are still sold.
The Indians had to deal with the setback from the fans who were upset that the logo was removed, and the team will certainly hear more now that they have decided to change their name.
In July, a few hours after the plans for the Washington football team came to light, partly due to pressure from the sponsors – including FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the stadium – the owner of the Indians, Paul Dolan, issued a statement saying the team will consider “the best way forward regarding the club name “.
Over the next few months, the team consulted with players, management, instructor staff, local leaders, shareholders and Native American groups.
Days after Dolan’s statement, Indian chief Terry Francona said it was time to “take a step forward” with the name change.
“I thought about it and I had thought about it before I made this statement,” said Francona, who has been on the team since 2013. I know earlier, when I was asked, whether it was about our name or “Chief Wahoo “, I will usually answer that I know we never try to be disrespectful.
“I still have that feeling, but I do not think it is a good enough answer today. I think this is the time to take a step forward. This is a very difficult topic. It is also very delicate. “