With Cleveland out of the playoffs, will they change their nickname for good?
The Cleveland Indians came under fire this season in the aftermath of the Washington Football Team scandal, which ended in Dan Snyder and Co. changing the team’s name, albeit to whatever the above albatross signifies. In late July, Cleveland owner Paul Dolan said the team was taking the steps necessary to see whether a name change was necessary. Dolan went into detail as to what this meant, including meeting with Native American groups.
“We feel a real sense of urgency to discuss these perspectives with key stakeholders while also taking the time needed to ensure those conversations are inclusive and meaningful,” Dolan said. “In the coming weeks, we will engage Native American leaders to better understand their perspectives, meet with local civic leaders, and continue to listen to the perceptions of our players, fans, partners and employees.”
Months later, will Dolan and Cleveland still consider changing the course of their history?
Cleveland moved on from their offensive former mascot, Chief Wahoo, in 2014, when they removed it from their merchandise. They’ve held firm on the name of the franchise, however, and have yet to comment on if any alteration should be expected this offseason.
The problem for those who wish to see the team name changed is that the pressure is off, at least for now. While the likes of Cleveland and the Atlanta Braves were forced to come to terms with their arguably offensive pasts, Washington was the main target.
The Cleveland ‘Spiders’ have been considered by fans, as it would honor the city’s long baseball history. The Spiders were in existence from 1877-1899. Cleveland Rocks, an ode to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would also make sense.
Whether Dolan and his shareholders actually opt to pull the trigger comes down to public pressure. That’s a sad, but true fact. If fans and sponsors don’t insist on a culture change, then Cleveland is unlikely to act.
It’ll be a long offseason either way.