Former President Donald Trump has issued a statement decrying it as a "disgrace" that the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team is planning to change its name to the Cleveland Guardians.
The team announced on Friday that a transition to the new title will occur after the end of the 2021 season.
"Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders," Indians owner and chairman Paul Dolan said. "'Guardians' reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While 'Indians' will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians."
Trump decried the move and claimed that Indians of the U.S. are the most angry about the switch.
"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?" Trump asked. "Such a disgrace, and I guarantee that the people who are most angry about it are the many Indians of our Country. 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?
"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!" Trump declared.
While the new name will mark the team's fifth in the history of the franchise, the name has not been changed for more than a century and most of the other name changes occurred within a relatively shorter period of time.
"The Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021)," according to the Friday press release about the name change.
The team had already ceased using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms.
According to a 2018 news release, MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. had said "the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan's acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course."
Dolan had said: "While we recognize many of our fans have a longstanding attachment to Chief Wahoo, I'm ultimately in agreement with Commissioner Manfred's desire to remove the logo from our uniforms in 2019."