The Cleveland Indians are likely to be no longer.
The MLB team is set to retire the Indians team name, which it has used since 1915, according to a report from The New York Times.
Until a new team name is announced, it will likely be known as the Cleveland Baseball Team. The change in name, of course, will have a far-reaching impact in regards to its marketing, from merchandise to brand partnerships.
Despite the longevity of the team’s franchise, Native American groups have increasingly called for the team to abandon its name in recent years. In early 2018, the Cleveland team announced it would retire its cartoon mascot, Chief Wahoo, from its uniforms and branding.
Those calls grew even louder this summer, when the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis spurred protests and outcry against systemic racism nationwide. Cleveland’s decision comes months after the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Football Team, announced it was retiring its own team name.
After the Washington Football Team announced its decision to retire the team name in July, the Cleveland team announced that it would be conducting a review of its own.
“We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name,” the team said in a statement at the time.
The Washington and Cleveland teams were two of the most high-profile examples of Native American team names in professional sports. However, others remain, such as the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Blackhawks, all of whom have said in recent months they would not be changing their names.
Scrutiny over racist brand names and mascots has not just come for the world of professional sports: Brands such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Mrs. Butterworth and Eskimo Pie all announced they’d be reviewing or outright changing their brand names after criticism.