The Cleveland Indians are in the process of renaming their club. President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said it's a more complicated affair than many realize.
"I have come to understand just how complex that process is," Antonetti said Sunday, according to Daryl Ruiter of Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan. "It's taken an extraordinary amount of work from people throughout the organization to help us move that forward."
Cleveland is putting together a list of names and assessing them for trademarks and copyrights. The franchise challenged trademark applications for several names, including the Natives, Warriors, Foresters, Guardians, Cleveland Baseball Club, Heroes and Squires.
According to USPTO records the Cleveland #Indians Baseball Co LLC already owns trademark rights to: Blues, Naps & Bronchos (previous & unrelated to name change). They're challenging applications for Natives, Foresters, Warriors, Guardians, Cleveland Baseball Club, Heroes, Squires— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) June 7, 2021
The Indians currently own the rights to Blues, Naps and Bronchos.
Team owner Paul Dolan said in March that a name change might not come by the beginning of the 2022 campaign, reiterating that the process is long and difficult.
The Indians are only the latest professional organization to announce a name change. The NFL's Washington Football Team recently dropped their previous name, as did the CFL's Edmonton Elks.