cleveland baseball

Cleveland's Baseball Team Is the Latest Brand to Drop Controversial Name, Logo

The organization has not yet announced a new name for the team

NBC Universal, Inc.

This story originally appeared on LX.com

Well, it only took them a century but the Cleveland Indians are finally catching up with the times.

The New York Times reported Sunday night that Cleveland is moving away from a name considered racist for decades. The team has been internally discussing a potential name change for months.

For years, Native American groups and others have protested against Cleveland's use of the name as well as other imagery used by the American League charter franchise founded in 1901.

In 2018, Cleveland announced that it would drop its Chief Wahoo logo, a racist caricature, from its caps and jerseys for the 2019 season. Native American groups had long protested the image, calling it offensive.

President Donald Trump said early Monday on Twitter that the reported name change was “not good news” and called it "cancel culture at work."

The move by Cleveland mirrors a name change made earlier this year by the Washington Football Team, which also jettisoned a racist name after decades of controversy.

But beyond the world of sports, here's a look at other brand names that have changed amid the recent social reckoning.


Aunt Jemima

Company: Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo,

Quaker Oats announced in June that it would drop Aunt Jemima from syrup and pancake packages, responding to criticism that the character's origins were based on the “mammy,” a Black woman portrayed as content to serve her white masters. Quaker said packages without the Aunt Jemima image will start to appear in stores by the end of the year, although the company has not revealed the new logo.

Land O'Lakes

Company: Land O' Lakes, Inc.

Land O’Lakes, announced plans in April to drop Mia, the Native American woman on its packaging, after being on the company’s boxes for nearly 100 years.

The company said at the time they “recognized” they “need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture” but did not acknowledge the controversy surrounding the logo.

Eskimo Pies

Company: Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream

The owner of Eskimo Pie has said it will change its name and marketing of the nearly century-old chocolate-covered ice cream bar.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory," said Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for its parent Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, the U.S. subsidiary for Froneri, in a statement. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”

Mrs. Butterworth

Company: Congra Brands

Critics have long claimed the Mrs. Butterworth bottle design was rooted in the “mammy” stereotype. Chicago-based Conagra Brands said its bottles are intended to evoke a “loving grandmother.” But the company said it can understand that the packaging could be misinterpreted.

“We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias and as a result, we have begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth’s,” Conagra said in a statement.

Darlie Brand Toothpaste

Company: Colgate-Palmolive
New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. said in June it was working with its Chinese partner, Hawley & Hazel Chemical Co., on changes to its Darlie brand toothpaste.

The toothpaste, which is popular in Asia, was called Darkie when it was first introduced in the 1930s. Packages featured a drawing of a minstrel singer in blackface with a wide smile. The Chinese name on the box translated to “black man toothpaste.”

Cream of Wheat

Company: B&G Foods Inc.

B&G Foods Inc., which makes Cream of Wheat hot cereal, said in June it was initiating “an immediate review” of its packaging. A smiling Black chef holding a bowl of cereal has appeared on Cream of Wheat packaging and in ads since at least 1918, according to the company’s web site.

“We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism,” Parsippany, New Jersey-based B&G said in a statement.

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