The reckoning of brands changing racially insensitive names continues.
At first, it was popular foods like Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima to rectify their issues before it spilled over into the sports world. Next, the Washington Redsk*ns became the Washington Football team, and finally, the Cleveland Indians have recognized how insensitive the name is and are now the Guardians.
Cleveland first announced last summer that it would begin a dialogue with community members and Native American groups about a name change. Then, in December, they began a search for a new franchise name– marking the fifth time in history. Fast forward to now, the official news was posted to the team’s Twitter account with a video narrated by Tom Hanks.
“Since the announcement to change the name in December, our team has been hard at work to ensure we pick a name that our community, fans, partners, employees, and players will be proud to have represented Cleveland Baseball,” Cleveland’s president of business operations Brian Barren said in a press release.
The new name is important to the city because it pays homage to historic architecture. In 1927, two massive 43-foot statues –dubbed the Guardians Of Traffic– were installed to overlook the Hope Memorial Bridge to symbolizing progress in transportation.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said through the team’s press release. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency, and loyalty of Clevelanders.
Check out how Twitter is reacting to the change below.