Trump Says Cleveland's Name Change to Guardians a 'Disgrace' Against Native Americans

Donald Trump slammed Cleveland's Major League Baseball team for changing its name, arguing it's a "disgrace" against Native Americans.

The franchise announced Friday it was shifting from the Indians to the Guardians, marking the the first time in more than 100 years that the Ohio team has chosen a new identity.

"Can anybody believe that the Cleveland Indians, a storied and cherished baseball franchise since taking the name in 1915, are changing their name to the Guardians? Such a disgrace, and I guarantee that the people who are most angry about it are the many Indians of our Country," Trump said in a statement.

The former president continued, "Wouldn't it be an honor to have a team named the Cleveland Indians, and wouldn't it be disrespectful to rip that name and logo off of those jerseys?"

Friday's announcement brought an end to months of internal deliberations about changing the franchise name—a decision team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said was spurred by discussions and meetings with groups, including Native Americans, who deemed the name racist and offensive.

Dolan told the Associated Press in December that "the name is no longer acceptable in our world."

The baseball club said Friday that the deliberations included surveying 40,000 fans and 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front-office personnel.

The team also announced a new logo featuring a baseball and the letter "G" for Guardians but will keep the same colors as before.

"In searching for a new brand, we sought a name that strongly reflects the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. Guardians embodies those defining attributes while drawing upon the iconic Guardians of Traffic proudly standing just outside Progressive Field on the Hope Memorial Bridge," Dolan wrote in a letter on Friday. "It brings to life the pride of Clevelanders take in our city and the way we stand for each other while defending our Cleveland baseball family."

Trump added in his statement Friday: "The people of Cleveland cannot be thrilled and I, as a FORMER baseball fan, cannot believe things such as this are happening. A small group of people, with absolutely crazy ideas and policies, is forcing these changes to destroy our culture and heritage. At some point, the people will not take it anymore!"

Fans reacted to the decision on social media, some praising the team for respectfully rebranding and others criticizing them for the change.

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

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.

Updated 07/23/2021, 2:12 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional material.

Trump Slams Cleveland Indians Name Change
Former U.S. President Donald Trump slammed Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team for changing its name from Indians to Guardians. In this photo, Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on July 19, 2021 in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images