Below is a culmination of abbreviated opinion pieces regarding the controversy of the Cleveland Indians changing their team name.
Samuel Evans: The Indians should change their name as there are people that are offended by the name.
Per the American Psychological Association in an article published in 2010, despite the removal of the Chief Wahoo logo, “the Indian-themed name remains part of the Native American mascot controversy which has led over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts to publish resolutions or policies that state that any use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promote misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans.”
The new name of Spiders would recognize the history of the team, as they used the name in the 1800s. This was the team’s name in the 1895 Temple Cup, a predecessor of the World Series, which the Indians won 4-1 over the Orioles.
Kenny Nichols: The Cleveland Indians should absolutely change their name. Their name inaccurately represents a race of people, which, quite frankly, has no place in sports. They did the right thing and got rid of Chief Wahoo. Fortunately, the name isn’t nearly as big of a problem. However, the name should still be changed as it can still be considered offensive. The idea of the Cleveland Spiders is very appealing because of how awesome the logo and all the Spider-Man marketing would be. The idea of being the Cleveland Buckeyes is also enticing, as this would be a complete switch honoring the history of the old Negro League team from the 1940s.
Joshua Ungar: The bigger problem at hand was more they needed to get rid of Chief Wahoo. The organization has solid reasoning to change the team’s name right now. There are people who are offended by the name of the team and in a way that’s alienating a group of people to the point of it literally becoming a health crisis.
Cynthia Connolly, who is a member of the executive board for the Lake Erie Native American Council explained: “Last month, Cleveland City Council passed legislation declaring racism a public health crisis. Once Mayor Jackson signs it, the city will be bound by CDC requirements to eliminate the conditions that cause Clevelanders of color to have worse health than white Clevelanders,” Connolly said. “If this city is serious about this work, our leaders must call for the professional baseball team to end the use of all Indigenous themes and imagery.” This interview took place on News Channel 5 in Cleveland and can also be found on their website, https://www.news5cleveland.com
Furthermore, the vice chair of the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance as well as Cheyenne member Josh Hunt stated: “Native Americans, like all people, want our children to believe in themselves and have the confidence to follow their dreams. A growing body of scientific research clearly demonstrates Native American team names and logos reflect and reinforce harmful racial stereotypes about Native Americans. These images and team names have been found to contribute to low self-esteem, low community worth, increased stress and depression in Native people—especially in Native youth. In Cleveland, we see these findings reflected in the experiences of our community members.”
What these two quotes are saying is that the removal of Chief Wahoo was not enough in the minds of some Native Americans, the name Indians also needs to be removed in order for them to be fully satisfied. If the teams ultimately does change their name, a fun name would be the Perch because of the city being on Lake Erie. Remember, when the Monsters came to Cleveland, they were the Lake Erie Monsters. So, to call the team the Perch, it would continue that connection to the lake.
Steven P. Gill: Yes, they should change their name. It’s time. It might be viewed as a little disappointing, as this is the name many fans grew up with, but it’s still the right call. They should change it back to the Spiders, the team Cy Young played for.
Natalie Turk: I guess I have an unpopular opinion & perhaps I don’t know the entire history of the origin of the team name. My understanding is that it was to honor Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, who played his entire career with the Spiders. I wholeheartedly agreed with the team removing Chief Wahoo which was/is offensive to Native Americans, however, I don’t feel the Indians need to change the name of the team. Some things can be seen as an honor…they don’t always have to be offensive. I haven’t seen or heard of Native Americans being upset over the name just wahoo. I feel the emotions of the country right now are not what should be used to make decisions. The emotions are coming more from people, who seem to be looking for reasons to be upset, which causes more division. Do I believe the organization wants to change the name? No, but they’ll fall to the “progressive movement” Groups, not Native Americans, who demand change, whether it’s truly helpful or not. They just want to virtue signal and show people, who don’t agree, that somehow we’re wrong. Where does it stop? Why can’t the name be an honor? My two cents.
Gregg Senko: Yes. Seminole = Tribe. Blackhawk = Tribe. Brave = Warrior. Indian = Someone from India. The name is incorrect before it’s offensive. Change it back to the Spiders.
Andrew J. Baillargeon: The Indians should change their name. Following the example of what the Redskins seem poised to do would represent a commitment to being friendly to fans of all origins and ethnicities, not just the majority. Even if it would only please a small demographic, it does effectively nothing to hinder the unaffected demographic, representing an all-around win. The Spiders would be an excellent choice for a new name. The logo potential alone is incredible.