The winds of change have arrived in Cleveland, and Terry Francona is pleased.
As you’ve likely heard, Cleveland will forgo its “Indians” moniker following the 2021 season following years of criticism from fans and Native American groups.
Francona addressed the team’s decision Friday during a conference call with reporters, and he didn’t mince words.
“What we’re really proud of is the first name of our team, which is Cleveland,” Francona said, via CBSSports.com Katherine Acquavella “Regardless of how we felt about it, what was important was how other people who it was affecting felt about it. I don’t think anybody was ever trying to be disrespectful. But that wasn’t a good enough answer anymore.
“Simply saying, ‘Hey, we’ve always done it this way, so we’ll just continue to’ — shoot, if we did that, Jackie Robinson may never have played. I’m really proud of our organization for trying to do the right thing.”
Cleveland isn’t the first professional sports team in the United States to make a move like this. The Washington Football Team announced it would drop its former name, though a new one might not be ready in time for the 2021 season.
Two days later, Cleveland committed to exploring a potential name change. Francona lauded the move.
“I think itâs time to move forward,” he said at the time.
It’s unclear when Cleveland will have its new name. Fans have suggested plenty of interesting options, however.