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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Cleveland Indians giving consideration to changing team nickname

Cleveland Indians logo

The Cleveland Indians are joining the Washington Redskins in evaluating their team nickname.

The Indians announced on Friday that they are going to talk with their stakeholders and community about the possibility of changing their nickname.

The Indians originated in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers of the Western League. They became the “Naps” from 1903-1914 for one of their players, Nap Lajoie. Following Lajoie’s departure from the team, the team’s owner asked baseball writers to suggest a new nickname. They suggested the “Indians,” which, according to a history on the team’s website, “was a revival of the nickname that fans gave to the Cleveland Spiders while Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, was playing for the team.”

There have been some calls for the Indians (and Atlanta Braves) to change their nickname and logo over possible stereotypes over the last 20-plus years. The team announced in 2018 that they would no longer be using the “Chief Wahoo” logo. In 2014, they began using instead go with their block “C” on their primary uniforms.

Over the years, the franchise has had the following nicknames:
Grand Rapids Rustlers (1894–1899)
Cleveland Lake Shores (1900)
Cleveland Bluebirds (1901)
Cleveland Broncos (1902)
Cleveland Naps (1903–1914)
Cleveland Indians (1915–present)

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