After 106 years, the Cleveland Indians no longer exist.
After decades of controversy and protests over the Major League Baseball team’s name as being offensive to Native Americans, the franchise has rebranded as the Cleveland Guardians.
The announcement was made Friday in a video narrated by Tom Hanks. The actor and Cleveland sports fan, who spent three summers working as a young actor at the Great Lakes Theater, credits his time there for helping to shape his career.
Together, we are all… pic.twitter.com/R5FnT4kv1I
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 23, 2021
“Now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team, for this city, to keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest, to come together and welcome all who want to join us,” Hanks intoned. “We are loyal, and proud and resilient and we protect what we earn and, always, defend it. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land … Together we are all the Cleveland Guardians.”
The name is a reference to the city’s “Guardians of Traffic” art deco bridge statues.
Back in December, the club had announced it was planning a name change for the 2022 season. “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 said in a statement.
Last year, the NFL’s Washington Redskins dropped its name as well and is temporarily going as Washington Football Team.