Sports Teams Rename to Avoid Native American Stereotypes

These statues, the Guardians of Traffic, are the inspiration for the new name of Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team.

Have you watched any baseball this season? There is a team with a new name. The Cleveland Guardians is the new name for the baseball team in Cleveland, Ohio. They changed their name to be more respectful to Native Americans.

The Cleveland Guardians used to be called the Cleveland Indians. Many Native Americans did not like the team’s name. They felt it showed stereotypes [an unfair way to look at a group of people] about their people. For many years, they protested.

In 2020, the Cleveland Indians decided to change their name. They considered many new names. There are several statues called the Guardians of Traffic on a bridge near the stadium. They decided to name themselves the Cleveland Guardians.

Several other sports teams have changed their names. They want to stop disrespecting Native Americans. Next season, the Washington Commanders will play in the National Football League. They used to be called the Washington Redskins. Another team, the Kansas City Chiefs, has not changed their name. However, they have stopped using a stereotypical mascot.

What Do You Think? How do you think it feels to a group of people if a sports team’s name is not respectful to them?

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