Cleveland Indians to meet with Native Americans on potential new name

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians will consult with Native American groups as the team considers changing its name for the first time since 1915.

Owner Paul Dolan gave more details about the steps the team is undertaking on a potential name change amid a national movement to remove racist symbols and monuments.

Earlier this week, Dolan met with Cleveland's players, front-office members and manager Terry Francona to discuss the possibility of a name change as well as other issues, such as social justice and race relations.

Dolan called the talks "candid and productive."

"Our players care about the organization and feel strongly about social justice and racial equality," Dolan said on the eve of the team's delayed season opener. "I support their interest in using their platform to unite our city and our nation through their actions.

"As I explained to our players, I am invested in engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to help determine the best path forward with regard to our team name. In the coming weeks, we will engage Native American leaders to better understand their perspectives, meet with local civic leaders, and continue to listen to the perceptions of our players, fans, partners and employees.

"We feel a real sense of urgency to discuss these perspectives with key stakeholders while also taking the time needed to ensure those conversations are inclusive and meaningful."

The decision to consider a name change comes on the heels of Washington's NFL team decision to change its nicknames and eliminate a logo deemed racist and offensive by many.

Cleveland removed the contentious Chief Wahoo logo from its game caps and jerseys after the 2018 season. The caricature had been part of the team's history since the 1930s.