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Meet the Cleveland Guardians: MLB team changes its controversial nickname after years of pressure

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Cleveland's baseball team is changing its nickname to the Guardians, the team announced Friday.

The team announced last year that it would change its name amid controversy and complaints from Native American groups and Major League Baseball.

The franchise has used "Indians" since the 1915 season.

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge."

"It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

The new nickname will begin following the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Cleveland stopped wearing the Chief Wahoo logo in 2019 on their jerseys and caps. The team's colors - red, white and navy blue - will remain the same.

The name change is the latest in sports where franchises are phasing out nicknames that depict Native Americans.

The Washington Football Team got rid of the nickname "Redskins" after more than eight decades following public pressure from fans and sponsors. WFT will reveal a new logo and team name next season.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cleveland Guardians: Baseball team announces change to nickname