Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plate would seem to be full with the Big Apple’s surge in gun violence and the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic — but he still found time Monday to tweet about the Cleveland Indians name and mascot.
“Terry Francona is absolutely right — good intentions aren’t enough. We have to take real, meaningful action,” de Blasio wrote on his city Twitter account, sharing a story that quoted Francona, the team’s manager, saying the AL Central mainstay’s name should change.
He added for emphasis in the tweet, one of just four he posted today including three reminders of his morning press conference: “Change. The. Name.”
The Indians finally ditched their longtime mascot — an offensive, red-faced caricature of a tribal chief — during the 2019 season after years of pressure from Native Americans.
Francona said Sunday it’s time for the team to go further and consider ditching the name altogether.
The Indians are one of several sports franchises under new pressure from civil rights activists to re-examine their name and use of race-based tropes in team branding as America once again reckons with discrimination, following George Floyd’s tragic death.
The Minneapolis man died during a brutal, caught-on-tape arrest in which a now-indicted police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes as he cried out that he couldn’t breathe, igniting massive protests that swept the nation demanding policing and other reforms.
For instance, in Maryland, the owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Synder, has finally bent to decades of criticism over the football team’s name and announced plans Friday to “undergo a thorough review of the team name.”
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