CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians, taking a cue from the Washington Redskins earlier Friday, said it will review its team nickname, the major league baseball team said in a tweet.
“We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name,” the Indians said in a statement. “We recognize our unique position in the community and are committed to listening, learning and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.”
The Indians’ announcement comes hours after the NFL’s Washington Redskins said they would “undergo a thorough review” of their nickname after receiving pressure from FedEx, whose name adorns the team’s stadium in Virginia, and by groups that protest the nickname had racist overtones.
Cleveland’s major league team, a charter member of the American League, has been known as the Indians since 1915, according to Baseball-Reference. The team entered the league in 1901 as the Blues and changed its name to the Bronchos in 1902. From 1903 through 1914, the franchise was knowns as the Naps, in honor of star second baseman -- and later manager -- Napoleon Lajoie.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Chief Wahoo logo debuted in 1932, when the newspaper ran a comic strip called “The Little Indian,” featuring a Native American, to recap the previous day’s results.
The Indians announced the removal of its Chief Wahoo logo -- a grinning, red-faced mascot -- from its game jerseys and caps in January 2018.
Topps, the company that markets baseball trading cards, replaced the Chief Wahoo logo with the “C” in 2017 and made a point to feature photographs of players not wearing the logo.