Cleveland Guardians MLB Team Keeps Name After Resolution With Other Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland's new name for its Major League Baseball (MLB) team will continue to be the Guardians, the Associated Press reported.

The MLB franchise and a local roller derby club have settled a dispute over name rights that jeopardized the Guardians' rebranding. The roller derby club sued the MLB team in October for common law trademark violations. However, both leagues issued a joint statement revealing that they have settled the dispute.

"The Cleveland Guardians Baseball Company, LLC and Guardians Roller Derby are pleased to announce an amicable resolution of the lawsuit filed by Guardians Roller Derby," the statement said, "whereby both organizations will continue to use the Guardians name."

MLB can sell merchandise with the Cleveland Guardians' name now that the legal proceedings are over. According to AP, the team "had been hoping to have new jerseys and caps on store shelves in time for holiday shopping."

The lawsuit claimed that the Cleveland Guardians roller derby team was the first team in the city with the name, and they should be the only one for that reason.

"Two sports teams in the same city cannot have identical names," the lawsuit said. "Major League Baseball would never permit 'Chicago Cubs' lacrosse or 'New York Yankees' rugby teams to operate alongside its storied baseball clubs and rightly so. Confusion would otherwise result."

"The same laws that protect baseball team owners' trademark rights, though, also work in reverse," it continued. "A Major League club cannot simply take a smaller team's name and use it for itself."

No further information regarding the settlement was provided. The Cleveland Guardians' name in MLB will go into effect next season.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Guardians Logo
Cleveland's Major League Baseball team has resolved a lawsuit filed by a local roller derby team over rights to the name Guardians, the final hurdle for the continuation of its changeover. The sides jointly announced an “amicable resolution” on November 16, 2021, saying both organizations will continue to use the name Guardians. Above, baseball team owner Paul Dolan speaks to the media as the new Guardians logo is displayed on July 23, 2021, in Cleveland. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The legal scuffle was another hurdle in a long route to the official name change for the Indians, whose decision to drop Indians angered some fans and alienated others. The American League team has been known as the Indians since 1915.

The Guardians was a name chosen following a yearlong process that sprang from a national reckoning over racist names and symbols.

Earlier this month, the team began removing Indians signs in and around Progressive Field. Newsweek previously reported that the process is meant to be delicate, as the crane used to remove the letter is between two of the ballpark's light towers. The new and updated Guardians sign will be on the scoreboard by opening day in 2022.

Hello Guardians
A Cleveland Indians fan holds a sign in support of the name change to the Guardians during the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 26, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images