The Cleveland Indians will change their name to the Cleveland Guardians in 2022, the team announced on social media on Friday.
Last summer, the franchise announced that it would begin discussions with local community members and Native American groups about a possible name change.
The Indians announced in June that they had compiled a list of nearly 1,100 potential replacement nicknames and were in the process of making a decision.
The new name was announced on Friday, along with several new logos. Tom Hanks, the actor, narrated a video announcing the changes. The Black Keys, an Akron, Ohio-based band, provided music for the announcement.
“We remember those moments as we move forward with change,” Hanks said. “You see, there has always been Cleveland, the best part of our name. Now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team, this city.
“To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest, to come together and welcome all who want to join us.”
Cleveland’s MLB franchise started in 1901 as the Cleveland Blues. The team became the Cleveland Bronchos in 1902 and was known as the Cleveland Naps from 1903 through 1914. They took the Indians nickname in 1915.
The franchise faced repeated pressure from Native American groups and others to drop the nickname, which some considered racist. In 2018, they stopped using longtime mascot and logo “Chief Wahoo,” which MLB said was “no longer appropriate.”
Before last season, the Washington Football Team dropped its Native American-inspired nickname. Other professional sports teams in the United States that still use Native American-inspired logos and nicknames include the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Blackhawks.
The Indians (48-46) are currently second in the American League Central. They play the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Friday at 7:10 p.m. EDT.
Before the game, they will hold a press conference to announce the name change.