The Cleveland Indians have officially announced their name change which will go into effect after the 2021 MLB season. For years, the name of the Ohio-based pro baseball team has drawn controversy with critics saying that the name is prejudiced against Native Americans. On Friday, the team posted a new video online revealing that they will next be called the Cleveland Guardians with Tom Hanks serving as the narrator to announce the change.
"We are a city on the rise, forging into the future from our ironed out past," Tom Hanks says in the video. "We are a city of fire and water. Of trees and towers. Built through generations of blue collars and the brightest scholars and all of those who worked harder. We hold tight to our roots, and set our sights on tomorrow. But this is our team that has stood with our city for more than a century."
"We remember those moments as we move forward with change," the Forrest Gump star goes on to explain. "You see, it's always been Cleveland that's the best part of our name, and now it's time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team in our city. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest. We come together and welcome all who want to join us."
At the end, Hanks adds about the MLB name change: " We are loyal, and proud, and resilient. We protect what we've earned and always defend it. Together, we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land, because this is the city we love and the game we believe in, and together, we are the Cleveland Guardians."
We knew that the name change was coming, but it wasn't until now that the Guardians name was announced. Back in December, team officials confirmed their plans to go with something new that wouldn't be seen as disrespectful to indigenous peoples.
"We have decided to move forward with changing the current team name and determining a new, non-Native American based name for the franchise," the team officials stated. "Hearing firsthand the stories and experiences of Native American people, we gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them. It is time to move forward and work to unify our stakeholders and fans through a new name."
This isn't the only big name change in professional sports to come about with respect to the Native American community. Last year, the name of the Washington Redskins, an NFL team, was changed to the Washington Football Team. This name is said to be temporary until officials adopt a more permanent name to be announced in 2022. Their new name will also not have any ties whatsoever to Native Americans.
Officially, the name change to the Cleveland Guardians will start after the 2021 season, so right now we are seeing the very last of the Cleveland Indians. This news comes to us from the official Twitter account for the Cleveland Indians which will soon change to the Cleveland Guardians.