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Reports: Cleveland Indians to drop controversial nickname after 105 years

The Cleveland Indians baseball team will remove the nickname they've used for 105 years, the New York Times first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: Native Americans have long called the team's name offensive. Cleveland announced in July the team was looking into changing its name. It began removing the Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms last year as it's deemed racist by many, including Native Americans.


  • The move follows the Washington Football Team's July announcement that it was changing its name from the Washington Redskins for similar reasons.

Details: Cleveland is expected to announce its plans as early as this week, per the NYT and ESPN, which notes the team hasn't decided on a new moniker.

  • It wasn't immediately clear whether the name change would happen immediately or following the 2021 season.

What they're saying: The Oneida Nation, which is headquartered in New York, said in a statement to ESPN that the change was "the culmination of decades of work."

  • "Groups like the National Congress of American Indians passed resolutions for decades on this, social science has made clear these names are harmful and Cleveland got out in front of it and they're leading, and rather than having this hanging over their heads, they're charting a new path," the statement added.
  • President Trump tweeted, "Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for "Indians". Cancel culture at work!"
  • The Cleveland team did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

pic.twitter.com/NUM5GYvlwe

— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 4, 2020

Read more: In the next Axios Sports newsletter.

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