Opinion: Cleveland Indians’ Name Change Is the Right Call Despite Some Angry Fans

Opinion: Cleveland Indians’ Name Change Is the Right Call Despite Some Angry Fans

The time has finally come for Cleveland—and some have been waiting since 1915 for this decision when the Indians originally got their team name. 

Starting in 2022, the once Cleveland Indians will officially become the Cleveland Guardians; they will finish out the 2021 season with the Indian name and logo. 

Cleveland’s MLB website already shows big changes, such as the new logo and name, along with what it truly means to be a Guardian.

“To protect, to keep watch, to defend. For Clevelanders, this is a way of life. We fight together for what we believe in. And if we get knocked down, we pick each other right back up and keep fighting. We’re resilient, hard-working, and loyal—to this city and to each other. That’s what it means to be Cleveland Guardians.”

Image Credit MLB Cleveland Guardians

According to the MLB website, Cleveland fans played a major role in making the decision to create a more culturally appropriate name. 

They give thanks for all of the input they received from their fans throughout this process, including:

  • 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, and front office personnel
  • More than 40,000 fans surveyed
  • 4,000 fans sign up to participate in research via the team name website

The process that the owner, Paul Dolan, and the manager, Terry Francona, both support.

What do fans and Native Americans think about the name change?

While there are mixed opinions, there seems to be an overall positive sentiment around the switch from Indians to Guardians.  

Some contend this is just another excuse to “cancel culture,” while others feel the blowback will blow over and true fans of the organization will continue to root for their team. 

In an ESPN article, Dolan gave his take on the switch. 

“We do feel like we're doing the right thing and that's what's driving this,” Dolan said. “I know some people disagree, but if anything I've gotten more and more comfortable that we're headed in the right direction. And actually, the selection of the name solidifies that feeling because of the values that the name represents.”

Dolan said he knows there's a portion of Cleveland's fan base that might never accept the change.

When browsing social media and online news outlets, there will always be opponents to the switch, some of whom may show their ignorance for the reason why the name must change. 

May the Cleveland Guardians be an example for other teams around the country and for sports teams going forward. 

Take a few minutes to watch the inspirational video on the long-awaited name change—where “Cleveland is the best part of our name.” 









6 Comments on “Opinion: Cleveland Indians’ Name Change Is the Right Call Despite Some Angry Fans”

  • Avatar for Marcie Skoog

    Marcie Skoog


    The name change is wrong! There should be pride in being called an Indian.

  • Avatar for jarrett loar

    jarrett loar


    as a member and citizen of the Muskogee Creek Nation I am upset over the name change, my father took me to the games every year and we loved the name.When we went back to the reservation we all called ourselves redskins,bucks etc.Now we are helping the democrats and liberals wipe us and memories of us off and out of us history. This is the new genocide of native Americans.

  • Avatar for MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher

    MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher


    P.S. In my time, in Cleveland area, BEING NATIVE WAS VIEWED AS A POSITIVE THING! My neighbors were mostly European descent and many were also German and they really liked the Native peoples, never did I hear a negative word about Natives. At age 11 it was a popular thing around Cleveland to BE like “Native Indians” and like them have a Blood Brother or Sister. A close friend and neighbor of mine and I became BLOOD SISTERS back then…and remained so until she died.

    On the other hand, discrimination was still being levelled against the Jewish people ALL OVER AMERICA AND OHIO, an area of much Germanic descent. My mother was both Jewish and Native…and she focussed on being NATIVE AS THAT WAS TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE IN AMERICA, BUT! felt she had to HIDE THE FACT THAT SHE WAS ALSO JEWISH!!! a group that was much more maligned than any Native could ever be.

    Yes, Natives were much more liked and wholesome in an area of primarily pagan German descent. Well, that’s OHIO for ya! and likely MOST OF THE USA, AS WELL…WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS.

    As for the rest of you, my Native and Pagan friends, please accept my personal knowledge of the People from Ohio, as those who resounded to the name of The Cleveland Indians, wholly out of respect and personal deference.

    Aho! and Shalom!

  • Avatar for MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher

    MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher


    On my way out of this website I stopped a moment to reflect on the new name of the team under discussion: “The Guardians.” and THAT NAME IS EVEN MORE OFFENSIVE since in my mind it implies that people in CLEVELAND NEED GUARDIANS… ….When I was growing up…. guardians were given only to the feeble… feeble of body, maybe,… but to a kid of “my time” it more likely meant someone who took care of the feeble-minded….

    NO! There is no way to make this argument any better. NEVER SHOULD HAVE CAPITULATED AND CHANGED THE NAME IN THE FIRST PLACE…. T H I N K….IF YOU CAN, ABOUT IT!!!

  • Avatar for MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher

    MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher


    OK. Not happy about this “change.”


    Never once, while I was growing up (in the daily braids my mom put me in) in a suburb of CLEVELAND, did I ever for one moment think the name of our baseball team was a disparaging slur of Indians. Anyway, to be correct: INDIANS ARE FROM INDIA! and I have many Indian friends…from INDIA! So I DRAW THE LINE HERE.

    There were also no native tribes anywhere near Cleveland that I know of, who could have or would have been OFFENDED. This renaming is the result of ANGRY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO APPEAR TO ME TO BE “LOOKING FOR A FIGHT!” And I’m cantankerous enough to give them one.

    Except for the fact that I NEVER LIKED BASEBALL, anyway. Too slow for me. I dig HOCKEY! In Cleveland, family and I were BARON’S fans. But alas that team disbanded and I don’t know what team name they have for Cleveland team now. I’m stuck in Florida with the TampaBay Lightning and even hockey is no fun, anymore. Things have changed and not for the better… stadium moved into larger and larger digs with higher and higher seats with bigger and bigger PRICE TAGS. Maybe it all started with “High Sticking.” When the federation decided to make it illegal…well… that was THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR ME…all the excitement in the stands came from the incidents of High Sticking on the court!! And still I went to see a game or two and I got dizzy and dazed climbing the stairway to the “AFFORDABLE SEATS.” NOW, OF COURSE, THE SEATS ARE NOT AFFORDABLE UNLESS YOU OR YOUR PARENTS ARE EXTREMELY WEALTHY. So where in the WORLD could an “Honest In’jun” afford to watch a game of hockey except for on their own TV??? which is much like watching a team of ants running off with the droppings of someone’s lunch… Sheesh!

    Native brothers and sisters in my age range, please GET A GRIP and actually remember “THE GOOD OLD DAYS.” ….. when we had fun and not so much money… The world is becoming a crazier and crazier place where people, mostly younger, use every means at their disposal to GET ANGRIER AND ANGRIER about things that REALLY AREN’T ALL THAT IMPORTANT, IMO !!! How about yours???

    • Avatar for Ryan



      Boycott the team games. it’s the only way you’ll be heard

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