Indianapolis Indians to weigh name change after 118 years with same moniker


The Indianapolis Indians minor-league baseball team announced Tuesday it is reviewing its team name, amid pressure from some who view names tied to Native American culture as inappropriate.

The club said in a statement it “will be forming a committee to explore” its name and determine whether a change is necessary, based on dialogue with local organizations and community members.

We are prepared to collaborate with our community and appropriate stakeholders,” the statement said. “We understand that our team name has not been endorsed by some but trust they understand the historic and respectful context in which it has been used over the years. We are committed to engage, listen and exchange ideas. “

The team did not say how long the process might last.

“We … feel strongly about the relationship we have with our fans, community and corporate partners,” the statement said. “Knowing that the appropriateness of our team name is being questioned, we will be forming a committee to explore it while also gathering community input.”

The Triple-A franchise has been called the Indians since its founding in 1902, as a derivation from the state’s name. The organization has long used Native American iconography in its logo, and the team is widely referred to as “the tribe.” It is one of several professional sports teams across the country with nicknames tied to Native American culture.

Other pro teams in recent weeks have signaled plans to reconsider or change their names—most prominently the Washington Redskins football team—following extensive pushback from activists and other individuals who do not believe names based around Native American culture (particularly those that could be viewed as disparaging) are appropriate. Some high schools and colleges are also exploring similar changes.

The team has encountered pushback before, including in the early 1990s over its Native American mascot named Rowdie. The team in 1993 replaced the mascot with a caricature of a bear by the same name.

But many, including officials with the American Indian Center of Indiana, still view the team’s nickname as racist or tone-deaf.

Executive Director Carolina Castoreno-Santana, who is a member of the Lipan-Apache Tribe of Texas, told local media earlier this month that “all of the imagery that is tied to [the team name] reduces our people to a mascot and to an image that is in the past.”

The Indians are the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians are not playing this summer because the minor-league baseball season was canceled June 30.

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57 thoughts on “Indianapolis Indians to weigh name change after 118 years with same moniker

  1. This is just stupidity. What’s next changing Indiana and Indianapolis to Farmana and Farmapolis? If you remove all references to indians they will become irrelevant.

    1. Don’t forget the Indian art museum across the street, never a complaint about the nick name. Should we close it. Should we ask the cancel culture, who know everything about what’s right. Should they go after the Pirates nickname also? Where does it stop?

  2. How is it that the Indianapolis Indians in Indianapolis, Indiana equate to racism? At what point do the adults in the room stop catering to the childlike yawpings of cancel culture warriors drunk on their momentary ability to be granted every absurd demand that floats through their collective noggins? We’re witnessing the bonfire of the inanities. Today, what divides is deemed supreme over anything that might ever unite us. We are being deprived of and denied of any unity our communities and our nation once held so dear by a ruthless cultural regime intent on recasting all that was once admirable and virtuous as criminal and oppressive. When does the vast, overwhelming majority get to say no? When we’re told the letter N is “offensive” and must be removed from the alphabet? Because we’re just about there.

    1. They are going to say “no” in November. Silent majority. I was recently asked whi I supported….answered Biden….I wanna s rew up their poll numbers so badly, acquaintances are doing the same thing.

  3. While I understand certain caricatures and nicknames are offensive, I fail to see how the nickname “Indians” could possibly be offensive to anyone – especially in the State of Indiana. It seems to me it should be an honor to have a nickname referred to in your honor. The “Fightin’ Irish” are the ones that should have the real beef.

    1. The Indians are not “reduced” to a mascot. They just happen to “include” a mascot. And our mascot is not offensive.

  4. Lets see, Native American are two English words, Indigenous is an English word, Indian is an English word, Indiana was originally called the Indian Lands, also English words. In fact any reference to any Native Americans are all English words. So maybe the tribes should just change their names to some post glaciation tribal non-english name?

  5. This MUST be done. In order to dismantle systemic racism, changes must be made and some traditions must end. Let us all move Forward. #NotOurMascot

    1. Please identify the ‘systemic racism’ that is contained in the name ‘Indianapolis Indians’ from the state of Indiana. The eternal juvenile frolics in the bosom of every ideologue, and this is nothing but cultural vandalism on the part of puling, childlike toddlers demanding that every whim be catered to. Let us indeed move forward instead of entertaining this ‘demand.’

  6. Moronic, asinine, and stupid. If The United States of America had this collective attitude and wimpy disposition the day after Pearl Harbor, we would all have been speaking Japanese before Christmas, 1941.

  7. A compromise position might be to continue to use the name Indians (given Indianapolis and Indiana) but remove any images depicting native americans, which still exist in the Team’s logo.

    1. There are no ‘images depicting native Americans’ in the team’s logo. It is a stylized black and red ‘I’ with a generic southwestern motif that vaguely (with a squint) resembles an arrow head. Vaguely. At best you might contend it is ‘native American influenced.’ Regardless, there’s nothing to remove.

  8. How idiotic can you get. Indiana, Indianapolis, Indians, Indian museum. Most towns in most states have Indian origins. Come on!!! Grow up and stop the stupidity

  9. Either rename the team the Indianapolis Natives or Indianapolis Delaware Indians. If you’re going to call them Indians, at least pay respect to an actual tribe with a historical tie to this area.

  10. The name Democrats needs to be done away with also since they stood for and promoted slavery and racism in our country for the last 200 years.
    Democrats have run the cities and states in our country with the worst school systems, the most crime and the worst law enforcement thus allowing generations of poorly educated “useful idiots” that are today rioting and looting their own towns.

  11. Another example of out of control PC. Our state’s name means “Land of Indians”, and is even on my government issues license plate. Stop this nonsense now!

  12. Political correctness is an attempt to destroy western civilization. The only people complaining about there nicknames are those who only have one goal in mind. There is nothing wrong with the team name being Indians, I mean if Elizbeth Warren can get into law school as Native American then we all qualify as havening some Indian in our blood line, no one is more pasty Caucasian than her. But seriously where does it stop, PETA is going to get upset with Blue Jays, Cardinals, Bears, Timberwolves, Bengals and so on. Then there is the Marxist who oppose the Patriots and the vertically challenges complaining about the Giants. The environmentalist will be protesting the Jets. So where does this stupid (rap end. At the total destruction of western civilization, capitalism, the nuclear family and local governance that where and IT IS TIME TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND STOP THIS DESTRUCTION. Just say NO.

  13. I think it is a travesty to be doing away with the honor of honoring our forefathers and our history. The Indians are part of Indianapolis History and it was an honor to them as part of Indianapolis heritage. The Indians were in this land before any of these newcomers wanting to change everything. Sad

  14. Oh for the love of it all……seriously!?!?! Where is it going to end? Should we rename the Padres because of the connection to the Catholic Faith or Spanish culture….or the names of any of the multiple teams named after animals because PETA may get offended?? How about we rename ALL of the teams colors of the rainbow…oh wait…then those that are color blind may feel left out. Where does it end? I don’t see anyone getting upset about the Yankee’s, which happens to be a derogatory name for Northerners from the time of the Civil War.

  15. There is nothing derogatory about the team name. Indiana and Indianapolis are both named to celebrate our “Indian” heritage. Renaming the Indianapolis Indians baseball team would be completely misguided.

  16. How about the Tippecanoe’s ? The name would wrap around the entire Baseball Cap. or the Tecumseh’s?

    Tecumseh lost the battle of Tippecanoe, but had a engine company named after him that is still in business.

  17. The Indians name has been around through the lifetime of all commentators without objection until recently. The team dropped the logo of Chief Wahoo, copied from Cleveland years ago went it was affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, and now uses a logo that should not offend anyone, unless it’s an artist with a narrow range. No change should be made. I and several others have been referred to as “Hoosiers” for years, along with IU sports teams. Should I and IU now be offended by the name Hoosiers?

  18. A good way to kill there fanbase pandering to the Socialist Marxist Communist!

    Being a commie from the front office always proves detrimental to an organization’s bottomline.

    They seems to get brainwashed from a minuscule tiny amount of leftist diverting their attention that this is still a Constitutional Republic with a First Amendment!

  19. I think an appropriate name for the team would be Vandals. But as the name Vandals is already in use as the nickname of the Univ. of Idaho sports teams, perhaps the name should be changed slightly to the Indianapolis Downtown Vandals.