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Friday, August 28, 2020

Indians Fans "Will Have to Be Patient" As Team Mulls Name Change

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 8:38 AM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
Thirty-four minutes into a Press Club of Cleveland "Behind the Headlines" event featuring Indians' Senior VP of Public Affairs Bob Dibiasio and veteran beat writer Paul Hoynes, moderator Nick Camino asked about the ongoing name change discussion.

Dibiasio apologized — he was surprised it took as long as it did to get a question on the subject — but said there would be no headlines. 

"There's nothing to share from Paul Dolan's statement two weeks ago," he said. "People will have to be patient. This is not something we're going to rush to a decision on."

Dibiasio said that the team was still in the "listening and learning" phase and was actively seeking dialogues with community stakeholders, including Native American groups. (That had been the substance, more or less, of Dolan's statement.) Dibiasio referenced a recent survey as well, which was designed to gauge fan support for the name change. He provided no details on a timeline moving forward.

There was an Indians-related headline Thursday, though. Earlier in the day, the team joined forces with the Browns and Cavaliers in announcing a collaborative effort "to develop a sustainable and direct strategy to address social injustice" facing Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

"In numbers you have strength," Dibiasio said during the Press Club Zoom event, explaining the new alliance. "The group just felt that we already have such a unique impact on Cleveland individually — it's a responsibility that we don't take lightly — and how much stronger we could be collectively, especially today."

Dibiasio said the alliance's focus, for now, would be on improving the relationship between law enforcement and the community, and on encouraging "nonpartisan voting activities."

"We're going to be doing a lot of listening too," he said. "We want to see where we can help drive this community forward." 

Many, including national Native American leaders, have noted that if the Indians are serious about social injustice, changing their name should be among the first action items on any regional strategy they're a part of. 

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