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Cleveland Indians to rebrand as Cleveland Guardians in 2022

Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians will keep their nickname for the rest of the 2021 season and become the Cleveland Guardians in 2022. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians will keep their nickname for the rest of the 2021 season and become the Cleveland Guardians in 2022. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

July 23 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Indians will rebrand as the Cleveland Guardians in 2022, the team announced Friday on social media.

The franchise said last summer that it would start conversations with local community members and Native American groups about a potential name change.

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In June, the Indians announced they formed a list of nearly 1,100 potential replacement nicknames and that they were in the process of making a selection.

Friday's announcement featured several new logos, which accompanied the new name. Actor Tom Hanks narrated a video to announce the changes. The Black Keys, a band from Akron, Ohio, supplied music for the announcement.

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"We remember those moments as we move forward with change," Hanks said. "You see, there has always been Cleveland, the best part of our name. Now it's time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team, this city.

"To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest, to come together and welcome all who want to join us."

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Cleveland's MLB franchise started in 1901 as the Cleveland Blues. The team became the Cleveland Bronchos in 1902 and was known as the Cleveland Naps from 1903 through 1914. They took the Indians nickname in 1915.

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The franchise faced repeated pressure from Native American groups and others to drop the nickname, which some considered racist. In 2018, they stopped using longtime mascot and logo "Chief Wahoo," which MLB said was "no longer appropriate."

The NFL's Washington Football Team dropped its Native American inspired nickname before last season. The Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks are among the other U.S. professional sports franchises that still use Native American inspired logos and nicknames.

The Indians (48-46) sit in second place in the American League Central. They host the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:10 p.m. EDT Friday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

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They will hold a news conference before the game to announce the name change.

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