The Cleveland Indians are changing their name. However, the club will keep the Indians nickname for the 2021 season, team owner Paul Dolan said Monday. Cleveland will keep the name and uniforms next year as it goes through the process of picking a new name.
"We'll be the Indians in 2021 and then after that, it's a difficult and complex process to identify a new name and do all the things you do around activating that name," Dolan told the Associated Press. "We are going to work at as quick a pace as we can while doing it right. But we're not going to do something just for the sake of doing it. We're going to take the time we need to do it right."
This comes after it was first reported by New York Times and confirmed by CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden that Cleveland planned to do away with the "Indians" nickname. In 2018, Cleveland distanced itself from the "Chief Wahoo" logo. Beginning in the 2019 season, the "Chief Wahoo" logo was no longer present on the club's uniforms.
The baseball club is set to take a different route than the NFL franchise in Washington chose to take heading into the 2020 season. The team dropped its "Redskins" nickname and chose to go by the Washington Football Team until a new nickname is created.
Washington changing its name spurred Cleveland to come up with the "best path forward" for its own team name earlier this year. In a statement released Monday, the team said it has "decided to move forward with changing the current team name and determining a new, non-Native American based name for the franchise."
While the "Indians" have been Cleveland's nickname since 1915, this isn't the first name change for the franchise. Cleveland also went by the Naps (after Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie), Bronchos, and Blues. CBS Sports' Dayn Perry took a look at some possible new names for the team.