The success of the Cleveland Indians doesn't make up for the problems with their branding

The Cleveland Indians have had a great run this month, winning an American League record 22 games in a row and clinching their division title. They’re an exciting team to watch and, since they haven’t won a World Series since 1948, they’re a nice underdog story for baseball fans around the world.

But the Indians still have a problem with their name and their logo. Like the Washington Redskins, Cleveland’s owners continue to cling to racist symbolism and offensive imagery on the premise that this is somehow part of the team’s tradition. There’s no tradition that’s worth offending a segment of the population and sending a bad message to young fans. And Cleveland’s owners wouldn’t lose much by changing its name. In fact, they’d be able to sell a lot of new merchandise once they switched to something more appropriate. They would also create a lot of goodwill.

There are a handful of things that will make our time look backward and antiquated in a few decades, and this is one of them. Someday the team will have a different name. Cleveland should do the right thing and get that over with now.

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