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Report: Cleveland MLB Team Picks New Nickname; Announcement Not Yet Scheduled

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Ownership for Cleveland's MLB franchise has selected a new name for the franchise, according to Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes.

However, team officials have yet to confirm when the new branding will be announced, and a source declined to specify to Hoynes whether an announcement was "imminent."

Following longstanding criticism that both its nickname and mascot were racist toward Native Americans, Cleveland announced in 2018 it was dropping "Chief Wahoo" as part of its uniform and branding.

That still didn't go far enough for those who argued the "Indians" moniker needed to go as well. The Washington Football Team had moved on from a nickname that was widely considered a derogatory term for Native Americans, so the precedent had been set.

Team president Paul Dolan confirmed last December that Cleveland would change its name but added that "Indians" would remain a part of the organization for the 2021 season. He ruled out a stopgap nickname as the Washington Football Team utilized.

Sportico's Michael McMann reported that trademark applications had already been filed by other parties for "Cleveland Baseball Team" and "Cleveland Spiders." The latter had quickly become a popular alternative for fans because it had briefly been a professional team toward the end of the 19th century.

In June, Cleveland claimed it had started with a list of 1,198 possible monikers before eventually getting down to a small group of finalists. Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan provided some additional context:

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Daryl Ruiter @RuiterWrongFAN

Before you all go jumping to conclusions, doesn't mean any of these names are being considered. This is pretty standard to challenge name applications made by independent parties that are just trying to cash in <a href="https://t.co/tT7i8LrClo">https://t.co/tT7i8LrClo</a>

While acknowledging the 2022 season was the target to have things finalized, Dolan said in March moving the rebrand to 2023 was a possibility.

Unless Cleveland is going to really slow play this, it would appear that contingency won't be necessary.

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