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Baseball: Cleveland Indians to Change Name

MLB Baseball Team Cleveland Indians have announced that they are to change their name, which they have used since 1915, on the ground that it is racially sensitive.

The team’s owner, Paul Dolan stated:

The name is no longer acceptable in our world.”

And the team manager, terry Francona, added that it is time to “move forward”.

But this has prompted outgoing President Donald Trump to tweet:

Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for “Indians”. Cancel culture at work!”

The team will continue to use the name ‘Indians’ in 2021 until a new name has been identified.

In 2018, bowing to pressure that it was racist, the team dropped the Chief Wahoo Logo from their uniforms, which they had used since 1947.

This name change is one of the effects of the police killing in May of George Floyd, which has led to the rise of the ‘black lives matter’ movement and a widespread debate on racism in the US and elsewhere in the world.

This name change prompts the question as to what happens next to other US sports that use other native American names, such as the MLB Atlanta ‘Braves’?

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Editors

The editors of  the Journal Sports Law & Taxation are Professor Ian Blackshaw and Dr Rijkele Betten, with specialist contributions from the world's leading practitioners and academics in the sports law and taxation fields.

The Editors

Managing editor
Dr. Rijkele Betten

Consulting editor
Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw

Editorial board

Prof. Guglielmo Maisto
Maisto e Associati, Milano

Dr. Dick Molenaar
All Arts Tax Advisors, Rotterdam


Mr. Kevin Offer
Hardwick & Morris LLP, London

Mr. Mario Tenore
Maisto e Associati, Milano


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