Cleveland to undergo long-awaited name change
By Jon Grossman
August 12, 2021
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Seven months after the Cleveland Indians announced they would be parting with their name after the 2021 season, they have now revealed their new name: the Cleveland Guardians.
Cleveland announced they would stop using Chief Wahoo as their logo two years ago, and the name change has been inevitable since then.
Recent pressure from corporate sponsors and the NFL’s Washington Redskins name change accelerated the process for Cleveland.
Cleveland wanted this long-overdue name change to be done right, so they took their time and interviewed fans and community leaders about what they felt best represented their city.
The three words that the team heard most were pride, resilience, and loyalty. This, along with the “Guardians of Traffic” sculptures on the Hope Memorial Bridge, serve as the foundation for the Guardians’ name.
No matter what name Cleveland picked, there were going to be many hurdles to overcome, one of which was branding. The only other team using “Guardians” is the New York Guardians of the XFL, who may not resume play until 2023. Other names such as the “Spiders” and the “Rockers” were considered, but the University of Richmond Spiders and the Colorado Rockies presented issues.
Once Cleveland was ready to move forward with “Guardians,” it was full steam ahead.
While there was likely to be pushback from many fans no matter what the name was changed to, the Cleveland organization believes the name change will be a unifying force for its fan base moving forward.
Team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement, “It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family.”
If Clevelanders look at the new name with this attitude, it could bring everyone together during a time with so much division.