Cleveland MLB team owner Paul Dolan released a statement Thursday to say the franchise intends to meet with members of the Native American community as it weighs a possible name change.
MLB.com's Mandy Bell shared Dolan's statement:
"As I explained to our players, I am invested in engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to help determine the best path forward with regard to our team name. In the coming weeks, we will engage Native American leaders to better understand their perspectives, meet with local civic leaders, and continue to listen to the perceptions of our players, fans, partners and employees. We feel a real sense of urgency to discuss these perspectives with key stakeholders while also taking the time needed to ensure those conversations are inclusive and meaningful."
Hours later, Cleveland confirmed it would take a similar step:
Manager Terry Francona subsequently told reporters he thought "it's time to move forward" concerning a possible change.
The franchise already retired its Chief Wahoo logo ahead of the 2019 season. Cleveland had toned down Chief Wahoo over the years to use less overt Native American imagery, but many saw it as a racist caricature nonetheless.
Cleveland opens the 2020 regular season Friday against the Kansas City Royals, so a new nickname probably won't arrive until later this fall at the earliest.
Rather than finalizing a rebrand right away, the Washington Football Team announced it will carry that temporary moniker through the upcoming NFL season. That could provide Dolan with a short-term solution for Cleveland.