“That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” That’s a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet questioning why a name carries so much meaning. Well, names can have significant meaning. For example, you might’ve been named after a loved one. (Fun fact: Xyza’s co-founder Joann named her daughter after one of her favorite foods!) But why are we talking about names? In the last few years, the names of professional sports teams have been questioned for their lack of cultural sensitivity. After all, should a team’s name, and in most cases a team’s mascot, represent a group of people? We’re talking about team names, such as the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians.
Recently, growing criticism of teams whose names are that of Native American tribes have grown louder, pressuring team owners to change their tune and change their names. The most recent team to announce this change? The Cleveland Indians. After growing pressure, ahead of the 2019 season, the team stopped adding Native American imagery onto their logos and no longer had a Native American as a mascot. But that wasn’t enough. Now, the team has announced that it will change its name as well. Why? Paul Dolan, the owner of the Cleveland Indians, hopes the change will “better unify our community and build our legacy for a new generation.” It’ll take some time before the team announces its official new name, but did you know this ball club has done it before? When the Cleveland Indians were first established in 1901, they were known as the Blues, short for Bluebirds!