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Cleveland Indians announce ‘Guardians’ as new team name

Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Guardians
Jul 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Nick Wittgren (62) wears an Independence Day themed hat before a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians will be changing their name to the Cleveland Guardians beginning in the 2022 MLB season, following a team announcement on Friday.

Cleveland revealed in July 2020 that it was now open to discussing changing its name from the Indians. The consideration came after the organization phased out the Chief Wahoo logo in 2018. In December, the organization announced it would drop its current name after the 2021 season.

After months of deliberation and input, reports surfaced Thursday that Cleveland decided on a new name. With the help of Tom Hanks’ legendary voice, Cleveland made the announcement official Friday morning.

While Cleveland will still retain the “C” logo it uses now, it is also implementing new images that will be featured on all apparel in 2022.

It’s the latest in a series of changes by professional sports teams to move away from names that tie directly to Native American terms and are increasingly viewed as offensive to many groups.

The Washington Football Team changed its name before the 2020 season, moving on from the “Redskins” title after years of criticism. Washington will still be called the “Football Team” for the upcoming 2021 NFL season and plans to unveil its new name in 2022.