Dolan: Indians may not change name in time for 2022 season
The Cleveland Indians have stated their intent to change the team's name, but the wait may be longer than originally expected.
Team owner Paul Dolan said On a Zoom call with media Thursday that there's a possibility the club's name may not change in time for the 2022 season and that he'll know more by midseason this year.
"Our target is still 2022, but it is a difficult process," Dolan said, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. Trying to find a name that works, that we can clear, and ultimately in a tight time frame. By tight I mean we can't just show up in spring training (in 2022) and say here's the new name. We have to have it buttoned up long before that.
"It could be sometime in the middle of this year whether we know we've got it down where we can do it for 2022. If not, we'd have to push it to 2023. We're working hard to get it done by then, but there's no certainty in that."
Cleveland's baseball team has been known as the Indians since 1915. The organization completed a months-long review in December and announced it would choose a new moniker that isn't "Native American themed."
"The real challenge is finding a name that works that we can use," Dolan added. "There aren't many words in the English language that somebody doesn't own in some shape or form. Particularly in the sports realm, that's a real challenge."
In 2018, the Indians ditched the controversial Chief Wahoo logo from all on-field branding. At the time, Dolan said the team name was not an issue.
The NFL's Washington Football Team played the 2020-21 season with a generic name after discarding a racist moniker referencing Native Americans.
Dolan previously stated his preference is to not play any games under a generic name and instead go directly from Indians to the new moniker.