Though the Cleveland Guardians won the American League’s Central Division championship, fans are so NOT excited about this winning team. Many long-time Tribe fans said the baseball team yielded to political correctness in 2021 when it tomahawked the Indians nickname. The first regular season of fielding a team ridiculously named after the local Guardian bridge landed with a thud.
Cleveland ranked 25th among Major League Baseball’s 30 teams in attendance this season, which is pathetic for a division championship team. The Guardians are an exciting team with great pitching -- on-field factors that should have made a team a big draw at the turnstiles, unless ancillary factors affected attendance. Last year’s losing team (80-82 record) outdrew this year’s 90-69 team. That’s an unacceptable reversal.
On a related note, the Guardians did not attract good television ratings either.
What’s the lesson here? Cleveland over-reached in wokeness, claiming the name change solved a problem that didn’t exist. Fans verified that by not using their leisure time to attend or view Guardians games.
Cancel culture has taken down the Washington Redskins (now known as the Commanders) and the Indians. It’s also pressuring the Atlanta Braves to change their team's name. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp pegged these attempts to scrub sports of Indian nicknames for what they are. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, Gov. Kemp rejected “woke cancel culture” pressuring the Braves.:
“The Braves respect and honor Native Americans. We’ve had meetings in the governor’s office about that. This is just the woke cancel culture and really national values that are being tried to be pushed down to our state and other states around the country, which is why we have to stand up and fight for our values in the state of Georgia …"
Outkick blogger Ian Miller blames the team’s attendance problem on its name change. “The history and connection between the organization and fans was developed as the Cleveland Indians, which was mostly unceremoniously discarded when political pressure became too much for team ownership to handle,” he wrote.
“There may be other possible explanations, but with many of the previous excuses; i.e. poor weather, or mediocre on-field play falling by the wayside, it seems one of the more likely reasons,” Miller added.
Polling has repeatedly, overwhelmingly found that Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support Indian nicknames for sports teams. It’s only a few bleeding-heart libs who don’t.
Sports Illustrated conducted one of the most recent polls, earlier this year. The numbers were consistent with many past polls: 83 percent of Native Americans said teams should not discontinue Indian nicknames, and 79 percent of the general public approved of such nicknames.
As usual with spoilsport radical, woke leftists, a minority is trying to impose its unpopular views on the masses. When the Indians announced the name change last year, generations of fans expressed their disapproval.
We just learned how badly the franchise bungled the situation and how that translated into team support.