Cleveland Indians change name to 'Guardians'

Cleveland's MLB team, previously known as the Cleveland Indians, officially changed their name on Friday to the Cleveland Guardians.

In a video shared to Twitter, the team announced their new name, though their handle had not been changed accordingly. 

The over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks, talks about the team's legacy: "There's always been Cleveland. That's the best part of our name."

"And now it's time to unite as one family, one community to build the next era for this team in this city, to keep watch, and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us," Hanks says. 

"We are loyal and proud and resilient. We protect what we've earned, and always defended. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land, because this is the city we love and the game we believe in. And together, we are all Cleveland Guardians."

The video appears to show a new logo for the team, which includes two "G"s with angel wings hugging a baseball. 

The team has been known as the Indians since 1915, but the team’s owner, Paul Dolan, decided to change it following nationwide unrest in the summer of 2020 over the murder of George Floyd, police brutality and the treatment of Black Americans in the U.S., according to The Associated Press. 

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” Dolan said through the team’s press release, according to “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders." 

“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city, and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians,” he added.

The AP noted that the team had spent months last year deciding on the new name for their team, combing through  close to 1,200 new names as of June.

Players stopped wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms in 2018, though the AP noted that merchandise with the Native American depiction was still sold to fans.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) praised the name change on Twitter saying, “‘We hold tight to our roots, and set our sights on tomorrow.’ Let’s go Guardians. #OurCLE.”

The Washington Football Team, previously known as the Washington Redskins, changed their name before the start of their 2020 season with the possibility for another name change as soon as 2022. 

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