PRESIDENT Donald Trump has slammed the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins as “weak” after both teams announced they would consider changing their names due to racism concerns.
Trump took to Twitter to air his grievances with the potential name changes, days after both teams announced their names were under review and may be on the way out. He also took the opportunity to take a jab at Massachusetts Sen Elizabeth Warren.
Trump slammed the two teams[/caption]
The Redskins are considering rebranding[/caption]
The Cleveland Indians adjusted their branding in 2018, and are considering a name change as well[/caption]
“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct,” the president wrote. “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!”
The Redskins cited “recent events around the country” and “feedback from our community” as reasons they were considering a change.
The Cleveland Indians are also considering a name change[/caption]
The national spotlight has been directed towards racial injustice in the US in recent months after the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police. Many symbols and brands that may be perceived as racist have come under increased scrutiny.
Pressure on the team to change their name and logo – which depicts a Native American man – have been mounting.
Reports say team owner Dan Snyder is resisting that pressure for now, but he’ll likely eventually agree.
The Redskins name and logo is under increasing scrutiny[/caption]
After the Redskins announcement, the Cleveland Indians followed suit.
“The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice,” the team said in a statement posted to social media.
“With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
The team has recently adjusted its branding. In 2018, they stopped wearing jerseys with the red-faced, smiling Chief Wahoo emblems on them after the logo was deemed racist by Native American groups.
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The Redskins have also faced increasing pressure from sponsors to change their name.
A group of 80 investment firms, with more than $620billion in assets under management, urged FedEx (one of the team’s main sponsors), Nike and Pepsi to cut ties with the team unless they change their name.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also remarked on the review, saying the league was “supportive of this important step.”