CLEVELAND, Ohio - In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan says the club's nickname will remain until a new one is chosen, which is not expected to come by the start of the 2021 season.
The interview came on the heels of Sunday night's report that the team planned to move on from its longtime nickname.
Dolan says the team has had months of internal meetings with groups, including Native Americans, who have sought to have the club stop using the moniker many deem as offensive towards Native Americans.
However, Dolan (who bought the club in 2000) said his team will continue being called the Indians until a new name is chosen.
“We’ll be the Indians in 2021 and then after that, it’s a difficult and complex process to identify a new name and do all the things you do around activating that name,” Dolan said. “We are going to work at as quick a pace as we can while doing it right.
“But we’re not going to do something just for the sake of doing it. We’re going to take the time we need to do it right.”
As the club searches for a new identity, one option that has been a popular team nickname for decades - the Tribe - will not be in the running, according to Dolan.
“We are not going to take a half-step away from the Indians,” he said. “The new name, and I do not know what it is, will not be a name that has Native American themes or connotations to it. Frankly, that (Tribe) would have been a name that I would have loved to pivot to."