Calling it a chance to recognize minorities “so their voices can be heard,” the Cleveland Indians wore their road jerseys in their season-opening game at home Friday against the Kansas City Royals.
The switch meant the team was not wearing its home white jersey with “Indians” across the front. They sported the darker jersey with “Cleveland” across the chest.
The Indians have announced they are considering a name change, potentially dropping the nickname they have used since 1915. Previous team nicknames included the “Naps,” “Broncos/Bronchos” and “Blues” going back to the start of the 20th century. Cleveland also had an early baseball team nicknamed the Spiders.
“We hope that’s a start of change,” shortstop Francisco Lindor told reporters before the season opener. “We know change is due, and it is time. But I believe positive change can happen. Shining the light on those minorities and people who are in need, it’s extremely important.”
The decision to wear the road jersey at home is only expected to last one game, but team owner Paul Dolan intends to include Native American groups in discussions about the name and a potential change.
“We can only change things by making people acknowledge and educate themselves that change is due, and to recognize that there are certain areas in life that are not right and not where they need to be,” Lindor said. “By us doing that today — and Paul Dolan allowing us today to wear the Cleveland jersey for Opening Day — it’s a huge statement.”
-Field Level Media