Statement from Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of American Indian College Fund, on the Cleveland Guardians Baseball Team

Today’s announcement that the Cleveland major league baseball team has changed the name of its franchise to The Guardians is a great step towards eradicating offensive and harmful mascots in major league sports.

As the president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund and a former educator with nearly 40 years of experience in education, I have seen first-hand the harm that mascot names and imagery cause to the self-esteem and self-confidence of our young people. I know only too well what the research proves about the harm the imagery does to them. By selecting a team name and image that reflects a city’s shared values and celebrates all its citizens, the Cleveland Guardians have set a welcome and higher standard for how change can be managed by listening to all community members, including all voices in a shared vision, and helping a city, an enterprise, and citizens grow as they move forward.

We join our fellow educators, allies, and business partners in calling on other professional sports teams and education institutions in a similar position to look to the Cleveland Guardians as an example and move forward to do the same.