The Cleveland Indians Might Be Changing Their Team Name

GettyImages-618158994.jpg Jamie Squire. Getty Images.

For those of you rolling your eyes, thinking that cancel culture has unnecessarily claimed another entity, hold that thought.

If you've been paying attention, then this has been brewing for quite some time. Back in 2016, the Cleveland Indians advanced to the American League Championship Series against Toronto and the Blue Jays' team broadcaster refused to say "Indians" on the air. Protesters in Canada also tried to ban the use of the Indians' team name and logo prior to Game 3 of the ALCS, but to no avail. Before the start of the 2018 season, the Indians decided it was time to bang the Chief Wahoo logo and instead went with the Block C logo. Probably for the best when you consider the old Chief Wahoo logo in this particular context:

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Admittedly, I hadn't given the Indians' team name much thought in the past. I always thought the Washington Redskins was more of a slap you in the face with racism team name that needed to be addressed. I mean, it just sounds like a racial slur. Because it is

With the Indians, I think most of us grew up playing cowboys and Indians, the Indians being a professional team name, and it literally being taught to us in school that the first ever Thanksgiving was held between the Pilgrims and the Indians. That was the word they used in elementary school. At least, it was when I was a kid. I'm sure that's since changed. They conveniently left out the whole mass slaughtering thing so we were just under the impression that these two groups of people were best pals forever, eating turkey and corn together in harmony. As it turns out, the truth didn't make for a great children's book. So, as children, a lot of us weren't conditioned to think that the term "Indian" was so bad and that there was much more history there.

Maybe you're still in the camp of believing that the Indians' team name is no big deal. Like I said, the thought never really crossed my mind in the past. And then I saw pictures like these, which forced me to have that, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, okay. Yup. Got it. Problematic. Big time."

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So, yeah. I was all for getting rid of the Chief Wahoo logo whenever that was originally proposed. When you see it in the context presented above, it's pretty cut and dry whether or not it's racist. That's a hard affirmative, so see ya never. I know some Indians fans have a special place in their heart for that logo because of the memories they hold onto from teams that once donned the logo, but it was best to just let that one go. I think the C Block logo looks much cleaner, anyway.

But the Indians team name? I think there are some folks out there who can't grasp the concept that their opinion on this particular subject doesn't matter, regardless of what their fan credentials are. If you're a 53-year-old white dude who's had season tickets for the last 27 years, it still doesn't matter that you love the team name and it doesn't bother you. If Native Americans find it offensive, then it's offensive.

If the team plans on reaching out to Native American groups within their community to get their thoughts on whether or not the team name should stay or go, and it turns out that an overwhelming response says it should go, then it should go. That's really all there is to it.