The Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball announced on Friday, July 23 that they will change their name to the Guardians, eliciting a wide range of reactions from fans.
The Cleveland Indians have been known since 1915, but the team stated in December that it would adopt a new name that was “non-Native American based,” as their prior name had been deemed disrespectful to Native Americans.
“We are all Cleveland Guardians,” stated actor Tom Hanks in a video posted to Twitter announcing the team’s new name.
The newly named Guardians explained in a statement to Newsweek that they polled 40,000 followers and conducted 140 hours of interviews to choose a name from 1,198 options.
Donald Trump claimed himself as a “former baseball fan” when criticizing the Cleveland Indians for changing their name to the Guardians after more than a century, due to racial criticism.
Trump was quick to respond, arguing that the people who will be the “most angry are the many Indians of our country.”
“Can anybody believe that the Cleveland Indians, a storied and cherished baseball franchise since taking the name in 1915, are changing their name to the Guardians? Such a disgrace, and I guarantee that the people who are most angry about it are the many Indians of our Country. Wouldn’t it be an honor to have a team named the Cleveland Indians, and wouldn’t it be disrespectful to rip that name and logo off of those jerseys? The people of Cleveland cannot be thrilled and I, as a FORMER baseball fan, cannot believe things such as this are happening. A small group of people, with absolutely crazy ideas and policies, is forcing these changes to destroy our culture and heritage. At some point, the people will not take it anymore!”
Some of the club’s die-hard fans and others have criticized the decision to change the name, accusing the team of bowing to “woke culture.”
In December, the team began looking for a new name. The group spent most of the previous year narrowing down a list of potential names that had grown to about 1,200 just over a month ago.
However, Cleveland’s colors will stay the same, and the new Guardians’ logos will reflect some of the bridge’s architectural features.