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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Did Cleveland Guardians hold off on merchandise due to lawsuit?

Cleveland Guardians logo

The Cleveland Indians will officially be known as the Cleveland Guardians beginning next season, but they have not yet begun selling gear featuring their new nickname. That may have something to do with a recent lawsuit that was filed.

According to Joey Morona of Cleveland.com, retailers had been told to expect sales of Guardians gear to begin on Monday at 9 a.m. However, the team informed them that the merchandise launch has been postponed, and no new sale date has been determined. There was no explanation. The Indians also declined comment when reached by Cleveland.com.

The timing does not seem like a coincidence. The Cleveland flat-track roller derby team, which is also known as the Guardians, filed a lawsuit last month seeking to block the Indians from using their new nickname. The Indians insist they were aware of the Guardians roller derby team and took the proper legal steps to secure use of the name.

The roller derby team claims in its lawsuit that the Indians were intentionally deceptive while securing their trademark for the Guardians name.

Money usually wins out in these types of battles, and MLB and the Indians obviously have a lot more of that than a local roller derby team. That said, the decision to push back the merchandise sales may indicate that the roller derby team has, at the very least, created a headache for the soon-to-be Guardians.

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