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Cleveland’s baseball team drops ‘Indian’ from its name

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 30: James Karinchak #99 of the Cleveland Indians reacts as he is removed from the game after giving up a grand slam during the fourth inning of Game Two of the American League Wild Card Series against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field on September 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Indians will change its mascot and team name, dropping “Indians” altogether, the New York Times reported Sunday. The team has carried the name for 105 years, but after years of protests from activists and Native American groups, the team will forgo the mascot. 

The decision comes months after a similar decision by the Washington Football Team, reflecting a larger national conversation that emerged over the summer in regards to systemic racism. 

The team is expected to make an official announcement later this week, although it’s unclear whether it will choose a new name or push the shift to next season. It’s possible the team will forgo a team name altogether — similar to the Washington Football Team — and seek public comments before deciding on a new mascot. 

The Cleveland team has been known as the Indians since 1915. However, it has not always been met without contention. 

Native American groups and activists have long called for a change to the team name and former mascot — a cartoon Chief Wahoo. The cartoon mascot was phased out before the 2019 season.