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The meaning of the Cleveland Indians becoming Cleveland Guardians at the end of 2021 season

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(WQOW) - Since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball Team has been known as the Indians.

Friday, the franchise announced it will next be known as the Cleveland Guardians.

The name change is not a new development. In 2018 Cleveland removed its 'Chief Wahoo' logo.

Last year, the team announced that it would be making a name change following the Washington Football Team's decision to remove its 'Redskins' name

The mascot adjustment comes after years of protesting, demanding that the team change its Native American moniker.

One UW-Stout Anthropology professor said the name change is a start to a longer conversation.

"The problem with thinking of just mascots narrowly- is folks who aren't Native American or not from a minority group might see it as 'oh it's just this one thing over here' but it's part of how we represent Native American people in our history books, in other forms of popular media, and it's connected to a bunch of long standing stereotypes," said Dr. Tina Lee, professor of anthropology at UW-Stout.

The new 'Guardian' name is a reference to the city's eight art deco sculptures dubbed 'The Guardians of Traffic' that stand at the Hope Memorial Bridge.

The team will transition to its new moniker at the end of the 2021 season, and will keep the colors, script and 'Cleveland' road uniforms.

The Cleveland Guardians name is the fifth name-change in the franchise's 120-year major league history, joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021).

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Alyssa Lyons

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