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Local residents react to Cleveland team’s name change

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:58 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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“”Indians will always be part of our history. Just as Cleveland has always been the most important part of our identity.” Those words Friday from Paul Dolan, owner of the Cleveland Indians, with the announcement the team is changing its name to the “Guardians”.

But local residents we spoke to, on and off camera, basically agreed with these comments from John Wolfe:

“The Guardians? You want to know what I think about it? I think it’s stupid.”

Others were a bit more understanding.

“If they want to change their name to something else, that’s fine,” said Roger Pickens. “I don’t think they should have to or be forced to. The new name is acceptable to me.”

For more than 100 years, the team had been known as the Indians, named for a Native American ballplayer.

The team had also been nicknamed the “Tribe”-with, until recently “Chief Wahoo” as its mascot.

Its ballparks-there were three of them over the years-were even occasionally called “The Wigwam”.

And until recently, team owners stood firm, saying things would stay that way. Events of the past few years, including the 2020 death of George Floyd, and the Washington Football Team dropping the name “Redskins”, have changed that.

“Just because they think it’s ‘racist, it’s wrong,” said Todd Morris. “They should be able to keep their names the way it is. It’s been there for years.”

The change is to take effect after the last game of the current baseball season.

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CLEVELAND (AP) _ Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change on Twitter, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club’s die-hard fans. The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process quickly accelerated.

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