On Friday, July 23, 2021, the team officially unveiled its new name after months of speculations and years of calls for the Indian brand to be scrapped which led to the debut of the Cleveland Guardians.
115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies stating that any use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promotes misunderstanding.
The Indian-themed name also remained a part of the Native American mascot controversy. The “Guardians of Traffic” statues on a nearby bridge are responsible for the Cleveland Guardians’ new nickname.
Beginning in the 1970s, criticism of the team’s name and emblem grew, but when the 2016 World Series brought the team to the attention of the world, it quickly gained momentum toward Chief Wahoo’s retirement.
Local organizations vowed to keep pushing for the team name to be changed and against the sale of goods using the Chief Wahoo picture. Representatives of the team have defended the name and logo throughout the decades-long backlash, claiming that they are a part of their tradition and weren’t meant to be offensive to Native Americans.