Cleveland Indians changing to Guardians for 2022 MLB season

By Sports Desk July 23, 2021

Cleveland's MLB team will be known as the Guardians once the 2021 season has been completed.

Known as the Indians since 1915, the organisation announced in December 2020 that they were to begin the search for a new nickname, having held discussions with a number of different groups, including the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition and the National Congress of American Indians.

Team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement confirming the decision to make a change: "Hearing first-hand the stories and experiences of Native American people, we gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them.

"We also spoke to local civic leaders who represent diverse populations in our city and who highlighted the negative impact our team name has had on our broader population and on under-represented groups across our community.

"I am truly grateful for their engagement and input, which I found enlightening and insightful. When a sports team is aligned with its community, it unlocks the ability to unite people from different backgrounds and bring people together in support of their home team.

"While Indians will always be a part of our history, it is time to move forward and work to unify our stakeholders and fans through a new name."

Guardians was announced as the choice through a video, narrated by Tom Hanks, which was posted on social media on Friday, though the red, white and navy colour scheme will remain.

The name was selected following extensive interviews with fans, community leaders and front office staff, with over 40,000 supporters surveyed during the process.

"To protect, to keep watch, to defend. For Clevelanders, this is a way of life. We fight together for what we believe in. And if we get knocked down, we pick each other right back up and keep fighting. We're resilient, hard working and loyal – to this city and to each other. That's what it means to be Cleveland Guardians," a statement read on the team's website.

Cleveland has a 48-46 record during the current campaign to sit second in the AL Central, nine games back of the Chicago White Sox.

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