(Reuters) – Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians will change their team nickname amid criticism that the moniker, which has been in place since 1915, is racist, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The two-times World Series winners said in 2018 that they were phasing out their “Chief Wahoo” logo after it was heavily criticized as racist by Native American rights groups.
A push to eliminate racially insensitive material has intensified following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis.
The New York Times report said an announcement from the baseball franchise could come as soon as this week. It added that Cleveland intended to keep the ‘Indians’ nickname for the 2021 campaign before working to phase it out the following year.
Cleveland did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his opposition to the reported change.
“Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for “Indians”. Cancel culture at work,” he tweeted.
The report comes after the NFL’s team from Washington retired the “Redskins” name and logo, which it had used since 1933 but was long criticized as racist.
Cleveland has carried several other names including the Lake Shores, Bluebirds, Broncos and Naps.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles and Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)