Trump Decries Cleveland Indians Name Change as 'Cancel Culture at Work!'

President Donald Trump has decried the Cleveland Indians' decision to drop any Native American references from their name as the latest example of "cancel culture."

On Sunday, The New York Times reported Cleveland was planning to abandon the nickname it has used for more than a century and became the latest professional franchise to abandon Native American imagery.

Trump, however, argued the decision was bad news for Native Americans themselves, whom he referred to as "Indians" in a tweet he shared after news of the impending change of the name first emerged.

"Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for 'Indians'," Trump tweeted.

"Cancel culture at work!"

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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020

Campaign groups, meanwhile, welcomed the move.

"This is the culmination of decades of work," the Oneida Nation of New York, which led the Change the Mascot Movement, said in a statement to ESPN.

"Groups like the National Congress of American Indians passed resolutions for decades on this, social science has made clear these names are harmful and Cleveland got out in front of it and they're leading, and rather than having this hanging over their heads, they're charting a new path."

The nickname, which Cleveland adopted in 1915, has long been a source of criticism amid accusations it carries racist undertones.

Protests outside Progressive Field, the team's ballpark, have been an increasingly common sight over the last few years and owner Paul Dolan in the past vowed to explore a potential change of name.

In 2018, the franchise agreed to remove Chief Wahoo from their uniforms from the following season, stating that the logo was no longer appropriate and replacing it with a block C.

The change of logo was met with approval but as protests continued, Dolan and the franchise executives opted to take action. As yet, there has been no indication of what nickname the franchise will adopt.

Cleveland becomes the latest professional franchise to shed Native American references from its name, after Washington's NFL franchise abandoned its nickname and rebranded itself the Washington Football Team in July.

The Washington Football Team's decision to drop the reference to Native Americans came after some of its major sponsors publicly demanded action and prompted several other franchises, including the Indians, to review their nicknames.

"We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name," Cleveland said in a statement in July.

"Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community."

Earlier this year, Cleveland's MLB rivals Atlanta Braves declined to change their nickname, while the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL stated they will continue using their nickname, as it honored a Native American leader and did not carry derogatory connotations.

The reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs are also among the franchises using Native American imagery in their names and logos.

Professional teams aren't alone in changing nicknames considered insensitive or racist.

At collegiate level, the Arkansas State University Indians became the Red Wolves in 2008, but the Florida Seminoles have retained their name.

Cleveland Indians logo
The Cleveland Indians team logo on the main sign outside Progressive Field during summer workouts on July 12 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ron Schwane/Getty