Indians manager says it’s time to change the team’s name

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The Washington NFL franchise’s announcement of a “thorough review” of its name instantly was interpreted as a decision to change it. The Cleveland MLB franchise’s decision to consider changing its name wasn’t. Perhaps now it should be.

I think it’s time to move forward,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Sunday regarding the name, via the Associated Press.

“I’ve been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement,” Francona explained. “I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful. . . . And I still feel that way. But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today. I think it’s time to move forward. It’s a very difficult subject. It’s also delicate.”

For years, the Washington name was under assault. The Cleveland name, a generic reference to Native Americans, has not faced opposition remotely close to that. When the Chief Wahoo caricature, went away, the name did not.

“Even at my age, you don’t want to be too old to learn or to realize that, maybe I’ve been ignorant of some things, and to be ashamed of it, and to try to be better,” Francona said. “I’m glad that we’re going to be open to listening, because I think that’s probably the most important thing right now, is being willing to listen, not necessarily just talk.”

It’s a significant stance, given that “Indians” isn’t a dictionary-defined slur. And it also raises the question of whether the Chiefs will engage in a similar discussion. Even if the Chiefs don’t explore the issue on their own, Francona’s comments likely make it inevitable that coach Andy Reid will be asked about it during his next videoconference with reporters.

Like Indians, Chiefs isn’t a slur; there’s no obvious urgency to change names that aren’t slurs. But the current racial reckoning and awakening is sweeping broadly, and if the Indians name goes it will be difficult for the Chiefs to avoid the conversation entirely, even if in the end the Chiefs decide to retain the name.

If they do, that’s fine with me. The point is that, in this moment, all teams with Native American names should take a step back and confirm that it’s the right name to keep moving forward.

38 responses to “Indians manager says it’s time to change the team’s name

  1. Just change it and be done. There will be new things to scream about tomorrow. Get the whole “name change” thing out of the way already.

  2. It’s not an awakening. It’s just a bunch of miserable busybodies running around looking for things to be angry about.

  3. Are people going to change the state name of Indiana? Shouldn’t they concentrate on doing that first, if Indians is somehow offensive? (just to be clear, I don’t believe it is)

  4. Over the top PC nonsense!
    The left likes to tell everyone why they should be offended by.

    People need to stop giving in to the mob. Like the radio station in Cleveland that stopped playing Let it Snow because it “offended “ a listener

    Don’t change the name, it “offends “ no one.

  5. Lets just not honor native americans then if thats what the left wants. As a white child and sports fan outside of native culture growning up…these names always made me admire native tribes more.

  6. Like every town in Minnesota is named after Indian words/names. We changed lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska. I’m actually thinking it’s rude for these sports teams to leave behind their Native American heritage.

  7. Funny, I think the first people to call the Native Americans “Redskins” were the natives themselves. And “Indians” go back Christopher Columbus and the “Hello Cleveland” when they were actually someplace else.

    Florida State got the blessing of the Seminole tribe to use that name. Washington could become the Mataponi or the Cleveland the “Shawnee,” tribes that were in their area….assuming those tribes would be okay.

  8. Chiefs aren’t named after Native Americans, it was named after Mayor H Roe(Chief) Bartle. Who founded a council with the Boys Scouts. However, the Chiefs/NFL will need to instruct our fans to cut back/eliminate some of our in-game stereotypical traditions ie war chant, headdress, tomahawk chop and facepainting….

  9. Stanford University stopped calling themselves the “Indians” in 1972 (not a typo, literally 38 years ago) for all the same reasons mentioned today, yet people here act like this is some new issue.

  10. Cleveland is in Cuyahoga County and contains the Cuyahoga River. Cuyahoga is an American Indian term meaning “crooked river”. The Cuyahoga River flows into Lake Erie within Cleveland city limits – Lake Erie is named , named for the Erie People, an American Indian tribal name shortened from Iroquoian word “erielhonan” meaning long tail. These may not (or may) contribute to the origin of the name Cleveland Indians – I am aware of the legend that the name being atributed to American Indian Louis Sockalexis playing for the team, at a time when Nap Lajoie left the team and sportswriters were called on to replace the team name of “Naps” – but that story is also greatly discredited. Whatever your belief, the Cleveland Indians is a reasonable moniker, as names from the heritage of American Indians abound in the state of Ohio (I went to school at Miami University). I’m pretty sure these names purpose was to honor the heritage versus to discriminate. Those focused on name-changing political correctness have a lot of work to do in Ohio.

  11. Im surprised I got so many thumbs down with my initial comment. I guess I didnt express myself correctly.

  12. Native Americans are called “Indians” because Christopher Columbus had thought he had ship wrecked in India looking for gold and spices.

    He had never stepped a foot on this land but we have a holiday in his name.

    If your ethnicity decides to come up with your own name, have at it. Don’t name other races.

    My last name is Williams because whites had owned my family.

    My white friends speak proudly of their heritage and ethnicity, we can’t.

  13. Does this mean we cannot use the word Indian anymore? I didn’t realize it was offensive.

    When and where will the line be? Shouldn’t the NAACP have to change their name? There is no Miss Japanese Pageant in this country. I guess the 76ers will have to change their name?

  14. carloswlassiter says:
    July 5, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Stanford University stopped calling themselves the “Indians” in 1972 (not a typo, literally 38 years ago) for all the same reasons mentioned today

    ++++++

    “In 1975 the student body of Stanford University voted to use “Robber Barons” as the nickname for their sports teams. However, school administrators disallowed it, saying it was disrespectful to the school’s founder.”

    Maybe they changed the wrong thing?

  15. The word “chief” simply denotes the leader of a given group of people of any ethnicity and it came to English via French from the original Latin, a language which of course preceded common knowledge of the New World and its inhabitants by about, oh, TWO THOUSAND YEARS. If you want to ditch the iconography, fine, but the name itself is unobjectionable. Almost as dumb as when Marquette ditched “warriors”, another ancient word long predating contact with Amerinds and simply meaning, gasp, “a man who’s principle occupation is that if war”. Not slandering people’s and groups is admirable; revising the history of language is dumb.

  16. Like Indians, Chiefs isn’t a slur; there’s no obvious urgency to change names that aren’t slurs. But the current racial reckoning and awakening is sweeping broadly, and if the Indians name goes it will be difficult for the Chiefs to avoid the conversation entirely, even if in the end the Chiefs decide to retain the name.
    _________________

    I understand why people may feel “Indians” is borderline. Native American is the more accepted term this day and age. You wouldn’t necessarily call a Native American an Indian, especially to their face. If you have to think about it, that’s when you know its not right.

    “Chief”, on the other hand, is a position of honor held within a group of people. I don’t see how naming a position – or individual tribe for that matter – is derogatory in any fashion. This should be a non-topic.

  17. Enough cancel culture. Redskins is a slur, Indians is not. Otherwise, we must also change Spartans, Trojans, Celtics, Patriots, Yankees, Padres, Rangers, Raiders, Buccaneers, Pirates, etc.

  18. As a lifelong KC Chiefs fan, these comments are just ridiculous. Our team name made you “admire” Native Americans? Okay then, what do you admire about them? Without googling, what tribe is Kansas/Kansas City named after that you’re saying you admire? I’ve gone to games and seen people dressed up in racist outfits, doing racist chants, and it sucks. If changing the name means that stops, by all means, change the name. Other people’s cultures and skin color isn’t a costume.

  19. Get rid of the Angels. It that name ticks off the Athiests.

    C’mon folks, quit worrying about trivial BS.

  20. seattlelion says:
    July 5, 2020 at 9:38 pm
    Enough cancel culture. Redskins is a slur, Indians is not. Otherwise, we must also change Spartans, Trojans, Celtics, Patriots, Yankees, Padres, Rangers, Raiders, Buccaneers, Pirates, etc.
    ——————————————————————
    Curiously, there are American Indians who regard the use of their names in general to be an issue. If you look up the Redskins name controversy and the Native American mascot controversy in Wikipedia, you can see photos of demonstrators holding signs saying “A am not your mascot,” so there are at least a small minority of American Indians who object to any name depicting them, whether it is a slur or not.

  21. bkinacti0n says:
    July 5, 2020 at 9:30 pm
    Like Indians, Chiefs isn’t a slur; there’s no obvious urgency to change names that aren’t slurs. But the current racial reckoning and awakening is sweeping broadly, and if the Indians name goes it will be difficult for the Chiefs to avoid the conversation entirely, even if in the end the Chiefs decide to retain the name.
    _________________

    I understand why people may feel “Indians” is borderline. Native American is the more accepted term this day and age. You wouldn’t necessarily call a Native American an Indian, especially to their face. If you have to think about it, that’s when you know its not right.

    —————————————————

    I live in Arizona, where I am literally surrounded by reservations. I hear radio commercials featuring tribal leaders all the time, and they use the terms “Native American” and “Indian” interchangeably.

  22. Francona is such an overrated manager. Who cares what he thinks. He’s wrong anyways. No need to change a team name because there’s a bunch of morons living in this world.

  23. I am “American Indian” my father hated the PC term native
    We love the Indians and Wahoo.
    My grandfather would tell us Wahoo was a caricature of Louis Sockalexis the 1st American Indian to play MLB, incidentally for the Cleveland Spiders soon to be Indians.
    It always amazes me that a bunch of weak easily offended pasty white people are offended by something that has nothing to do with them.
    We as a people are strong and wise enough to understand this is not offensive and is actually a tribute.

    Where else can a people be used as something to bring an entire community of ALL races together in 1 voice to support a common goal

  24. chris says:
    July 5, 2020 at 10:17 pm
    As a lifelong KC Chiefs fan..

    _____________

    Yea… right.

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