Cleveland MLB Team Bans Headdresses, Face Paint at Progressive Field

Adam WellsMarch 31, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 16: The Cleveland Indians logo is seen at the team's Progressive Field stadium on December 16, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland baseball team announced they will be dropping the "Indians" from the team name after the 2021 season.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team has banned fans from wearing headdresses and face paint that mimic Indigenous cultures.  

Per an official list of rules for the 2021 season released on Wednesday, Cleveland announced that "headdresses and face paint styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions" are banned at Progressive Field:

Jensen Lewis @JLEWFifty

.@Indians fans: what to expect when you return to Progressive Field this year ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/k6hrGIGzzn

The move comes amid the team's decision to change its nickname sometime after 2021. 

Team owner Paul Dolan announced in December that the organization is going through the process of adopting a new nickname, but it will keep its current one for the 2021 season. 

“Our role is to unite the community,” Dolan told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. “There is a credible number of people in this community who are upset by our name, are hurt by our name, and there is no reason for our franchise to bear a name that is divisive.”

Castrovince noted at the time that "the earliest" a new nickname would be implemented is 2022, though it's not clear at this point if that will happen. 

Dolan told reporters in March there's a chance the name change might not take place until 2023 due to the "real challenge is finding a name that works that we can use."

The organization dropped the Chief Wahoo logo for good prior to the 2019 season. It has used a block C as its primary logo since 2016.  

Cleveland has been using its current nickname since 1915.