Fans React to Cleveland Baseball Team Changing Name to Guardians

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team announced on Friday that it is changing its name from Indians to Guardians, prompting a wide array of reactions from fans.

Since 1915, the team has been known as the Cleveland Indians, but in December it announced it would choose a new name that was "non-Native American based," as their previous name was seen by many as offensive to Native Americans.

The team announced its new name in a video posted to Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks who said, "we are all Cleveland Guardians."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, the newly named Guardians said that the team surveyed 40,000 fans and conducted 140 hours of interviews to pick a name across 1,198 different options.

Team owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said in the statement that the new name "reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge."

In addition to changing the name, the team also announced a new logo featuring a baseball and the letter "G" for Guardians. The team said in a statement that they will keep the same colors.

Shortly after the announcement, fans took to social media to share their thoughts and opinions on the new name.

Al Roker, co-host of NBC's Today show, responded to the video released by the team and said, "Could not be prouder of my 2nd city. Well done. Can't wait to wear the shirt."

Could not be prouder of my 2nd city. Well done. Can’t wait to wear the shirt https://t.co/5hnstWv3tT

— Al Roker (@alroker) July 23, 2021

Twitter user Joseph Robertson wrote, "My first hat was a Cleveland Indians hat. Yes, it was a Chief Wahoo hat. So the Indians name has sentimental value to me. However, we need to learn from our past to create a better future. I can't wait to see Cleveland baseball's next chapter."

My first hat was a Cleveland Indians hat. Yes, it was a Chief Wahoo hat. So the Indians name has sentimental value to me.

However, we need to learn from our past to create a better future. I can’t wait to see Cleveland baseball’s next chapter. #ClevelandGuardians #MLB pic.twitter.com/3Z1eATnh6P

— Joseph Robertson (@Miles_Joseph10) July 23, 2021

John Roberts of Fox News compared the team's new name to the popular Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy and wrote, "Waiting to see if they recruit Peter Quill, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot," which are the movie's main characters.

Cleveland baseball changes its name to the............"Guardians"???? Waiting to see if they recruit Peter Quill, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) July 23, 2021

Twitter user Amanda Fisher praised the team's "respectful rebranding" and noted that she plans to purchase Guardians gear once it's available.

Love this respectful rebranding and will be purchasing some #ClevelandGuardians gear when it’s available! https://t.co/e6CNsdmPsb

— Amanda Fisher (@afisher15) July 23, 2021

Twitter user Dan Spehler of WXIN News in Indiana said the team's name change ushers in a "new era."

"For as long as I can remember, I've been an @Indians baseball fan, and starting next year I'll be a #ClevelandGuardians fan. My team now & always," Spehler wrote.

A new era:

For as long as I can remember, I've been an @Indians baseball fan, and starting next year I'll be a #ClevelandGuardians fan.

My team now & always. https://t.co/VRvr3S3Bud

— Dan Spehler (@DanSpehler) July 23, 2021

Some fans were critical of the team's decision.

"I'm so sick of watching everyone cave to this crybaby generation," former MLB player Aubrey Huff wrote in a tweet. "So disgraceful @Indians. This isn't woke....it's a lack of balls. No fight in anyone anymore! Sad."

I’m so sick of watching everyone cave to this crybaby generation. So disgraceful @Indians. This isn’t woke….it’s a lack of balls. No fight in anyone anymore! Sad. https://t.co/9dlMkwvtTl

— Aubrey Huff (@aubrey_huff) July 23, 2021

Twitter user Dr. Darrell Scott, a pastor and member of former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential transition team, also criticized the name change, calling the Guardians "THE STUPIDEST NAME FOR A TEAM IN ALL OF BASEBALL!!!"

As a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, who’s very first job was selling snow cones and peanuts at Indians games in the old Cleveland Stadium in the 60’s, I believe I speak for many in saying that the “ Cleveland Guardians” IS THE STUPIDEST NAME FOR A TEAM IN ALL OF BASEBALL!!!

— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) July 23, 2021

From 1887 to 1899, Cleveland's professional baseball team was known as the Spiders, and several fans thought the team should return to that name instead of becoming the Guardians.

"They could have brought back The Cleveland Spiders, and they completely flubbed the opportunity," Twitter user Gumpy wrote.

They could have brought back The Cleveland Spiders, and they completely flubbed the opportunity. pic.twitter.com/UpvjDKSRKD

— Gumpy (@CamGumpy) July 23, 2021

Twitter user AJ wrote, "Not choosing Cleveland Spiders is a huge missed opportunity. It would have tied to baseball history."

Not choosing Cleveland Spiders is a huge missed opportunity. It would have tied to baseball history.

— AJ 💉 (@NCSox) July 23, 2021

Twitter user Matt Jones had a similar response, writing, "The fact they didn't change their name to the Cleveland Spiders has made me unreasonably upset."

The fact they didn’t change their name to the Cleveland Spiders has made me unreasonably upset https://t.co/ECeeupnGfl

— Matt Jones (@jonesy_18) July 23, 2021

The team said in the statement that it will finish the 2021 season as the Cleveland Indians "and will look to launch as the Cleveland Guardians at the conclusion of the season."

Cleveland's MLB Team Announces Name Change
Cleveland's Major League Baseball team announced on July 23, 2021, that it will change its name from Indians to Guardians. The team's present logo is shown on the main sign outside Progressive Field on July 12, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. Ron Schwane/Getty