So long Indians, hello Guardians

A recent editorial by the Sandusky Register:

Goodbye, Indians. Hello, Guardians.

Monday marked the last time the Cleveland baseball team would identify as the Indians at Progressive Field. Come 2022, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball franchise will become the Guardians.

Cleveland baseball owner Paul Dolan originally announced his intention to change the team’s name in December 2020 after the club said, in June 2020, they were considering a change. At the time, last summer’s social unrest, prompted by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, fueled his desire to pursue a name change.

The name Guardians is based on Cleveland’s “Guardians of Traffic” statues that watch over the city on the Hope Memorial Bridge.

For many, the name Indians represents a lifetime of tradition and love for the franchise. Several locals who attended the game Monday shared their thoughts with the Register. Their responses ranged from sadness to resentment.

We understand and sympathize with fans upset and/or angry over the upcoming name change. But, ultimately, we support the team’s right to rename.

Considered by many to be racist and insensitive, the name Indians, and, beforehand, the controversial Chief Wahoo mascot, stirred unrest before each season. Chief Wahoo was dumped a few years ago in favor of the neutral, if bland, block C symbol.

Dolan’s decision to change the name appears to be more about embracing the city than bowing to political pressure.

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” he told reporters in July. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”

We agree, Mr. Dolan. Fans of the Cleveland Indians can and should be fans of the Cleveland Guardians.

— Sandusky Register, Sept. 29