The Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team is taking a closer look into their name. The team announced they have launched a committee to explore the "appropriateness" of the team's name in wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. While forming a committee, the team said it will work with the community on the situation.
"Indianapolis Indians baseball dates back to 1902 and it’s been the organization's goal to be low-cost family entertainment for all fans in an inclusive environment," the team said in a statement. "We take this mission very seriously. We also feel strongly about the relationship we have with our fans, community and corporate partners." The statement went on to say they know the "appropriateness of our team name is being questioned," which led to them forming a committee to "explore it while also gathering community input." The team also noted how they got the name, which comes from "our state, Indiana, which means 'Land of the Indians' and our city, Indianapolis, which means 'City of Indians.'"
The Indianapolis Star asked an Indians spokesperson who would be on the committee and a timetable. The spokesperson said: "The announcement of us forming a committee is so fresh and new that this is all part of the process. Discussions will not begin until the committee is officially organized." This comes on the heels of the American Indian Center of Indiana announcing two meetings related to the team name as well as "offensive portrayals of Native Americans in sports."
The nine members of the team recently received an email from the National Congress of American Indians. They wanted to "provide the team with some general information about the facts concerning the harms caused by the continued use of Native 'themed' mascots in sports and popular culture." One person who could join the committee is Carolina Castoreno-Santana, the executive director of the American Indian Center of Indiana. She said the team would like for her to be in the discussions with the committee.
As mentioned, the Indianapolis baseball team has been known as the Indians since 1902. They are an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and play in the International League, which is part of the Triple-A class. Indianapolis has been an affiliate of the Pirates since 2005.