Earlier this week, Cleveland's Major League Baseball franchise announced its decision to change its team name. The club will move away from the Indians moniker it has employed for more than 100 years and that is considered insensitive to indigenous communities.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona spoke to reporters on a media call Friday afternoon about the future name change.
"What we're really proud of is the first name of our team, which is Cleveland," Francona said. "Regardless of how we felt about it, what was important was how other people who it was affecting felt about it. I don't think anybody was ever trying to be disrespectful. But that wasn't a good enough answer anymore."
Francona continued, "Simply saying, 'Hey, we've always done it this way, so we'll just continue to' -- shoot, if we did that, Jackie Robinson may never have played. I'm really proud of our organization for trying to do the right thing."
Francona, 61, has been with Cleveland as manager since the 2013 season. He has guided Cleveland to a record of 673-519 (.565) over that span with five playoff appearances and one pennant. The longtime skipper was forced to miss 48 of Cleveland's 62 games (60 regular season games plus two postseason games) during the abbreviated 2020 season due to the health issues.
Cleveland owner Paul Dolan confirmed the news of the team's name change earlier this week. The decision comes more than two years after it started to distance itself from the "Chief Wahoo" logo. Back in July, when the Washington Football Team announced its altered identity, Cleveland announced it would investigate the "best path forward" with regards to the team 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."
Here at CBS Sports, our staff offered several replacement options, including the ever-popular "Spiders," as well as the "Rockers," the "Guardians," the "Commodores," the "Blues," the "Crows," and "Dobys," named after Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who was the American League's first Black player. You can read a full rundown of everything that led to Cleveland's decision to change its team name here.