Cleveland Guardians Sued by Roller Derby Team Over Name Change originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
A Cleveland-based roller derby team named the Guardians reportedly filed a federal lawsuit to block the Cleveland Guardians baseball team from using the same name.
The Cleveland major league baseball franchise had been known as the Indians since 1915, before announcing plans to change its name to the Guardians in 2022.
When the baseball team announced the name change in July, the MLB franchise said they were aware of the Guardians roller derby team and took the legal steps necessary to secure the rights to the name.
However, the derby team's lawsuit alleges that the ballclub lied to the U.S. Trademark Office about its knowledge of the derby team's use of the Guardians name. The lawsuit also states the baseball team tried to shortchange the derby team, offering 'nominal' compensation. Negotiations between the two teams broke down on Tuesday.
The derby team was established in 2013 but has not had a season since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They currently have plans for a 2022 season.