The Cleveland Indians organization announced Friday that it is ready to discuss changing the team's longtime nickname, which has long been criticized as offensive to Native Americans.
The organization is planning to consult with the Native American community before making a final decision, and a source said the franchise is considering a change more seriously than it has before, according to Ken Rosenthal and Zack Meisel of The Athletic.
The team adopted its current moniker in 1915. Prior to then, the longest-standing name was the Cleveland Naps, in honor of star second baseman and manager Nap Lajoie. The franchise used that name from 1903 to 1914 until Lajoie left the club after the 1914 season, which is when it transitioned to the Indians.
Some believe that "Indians" was chosen to honor Louis Sockalexis, a Native American player for the Cleveland Spiders - the city's defunct National League franchise - in the 19th century. However, accounts differ as to whether that is the nickname's true origin.
The team made a small but notable change two years ago by removing Chief Wahoo as its logo. The staple of Cleveland's uniforms and caps for decades was seen as an offensive depiction of Native Americans and had been the subject of many protests.
Cleveland's statement comes after the NFL's Washington Redskins announced they'd undertake a "thorough review" of their controversial nickname earlier Friday.