By Jenny Masters
The Cleveland Indians are dropping their long-criticized name amid mounting pressure that it’s racist and insensitive, the New York Times reports.
The MLB franchise has not confirmed the report. According to the report, the team could announce the news as soon as this week.
The team is considering moving forward temporarily without a nickname, similar to the path that the NFL’s Washington Football Team took this season after changing its much-criticized former moniker. The franchise would then consult with the public before coming up with a new nickname, according to the report.
The franchise initially plans to continue using “Indians” and related branding for the 2021 season before phasing it out in 2022, according to the report.
The franchise has gone by “Indians” since 1915, but has long faced pressure from Native American groups and others to drop the moniker. In 2018, the franchise announced that it was dropping its mascot and logo known as Chief Wahoo after MLB called it “no longer appropriate.”
Chief Wahoo was drawn as a grinning red caricature of a Native American. Its use on official team gear was phased out before the 2019 season.