The controversy behind the Cleveland Indians’ name led the Major League Baseball franchise decide to change their name. This morning, the baseball team revealed a new name for the franchise: Cleveland Guardians.
The team announced the new name on social media with a video narrated by Tom Hanks and soundtracked by the Black Keys:
“There’s always been Cleveland, that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the promotional video. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community. To build the next era for this team and this city. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us. We are loyal and proud and resilient. We protect what we’ve earned, and always defend it.”
Hanks added, “This is the city we love, and the game we believe in, and together, we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
Introducing the Cleveland Guardians!— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2021
The name will go into effect after the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/ggCFyIRD2y
This comes after years of protest from Native American groups and baseball fans alike. The franchise has already phased out the “Chief Wahoo” logo from their uniforms for the 2019 season.
“The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice,” the team said back in 2020, per Rolling Stone. “We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said back in 2018 that, “Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game” and the commissioner has kept that promise as of recent has committed to donating up to $150 million to the Players Alliance which “focuses on building equitable systems in order to change the trajectory of diversity throughout baseball.”