Known as the Indians since 1915, the Major League Baseball team in Cleveland will be called the Guardians.
The team announced the name change Friday through a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of an internal debate sparked by an exhortation for institutions and teams across the country to permanently remove logos and names considered racist.
The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the team’s fans.
The organization spent most of last year narrowing down a list of potential names that just over a month ago was still close to 1,200. But the process accelerated and the club determined that it will be called the Guardians.
Team owner Paul Dolan said social upheaval last summer, sparked by the murder of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the team’s name.
In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the controversial Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms and caps. However, the team continued to sell merchandise featuring the caricatured face of a smiling, red-skinned Indian, which Native American groups protested for decades. (AP)