This Baseball Team Refuses to Change Its Name

Richard Paul Kane /
Richard Paul Kane /

If you haven’t noticed, there is a cancellation war going on against anything that could even be remotely offensive. Thankfully, not everyone is willing to bow to those kinds of demands.

Enter the Indianapolis Indians, a minor league baseball team aptly named for the city it has long hailed from.

With such a name, you might have guessed that a number of groups and individuals have been rather pushy about demanding a name change for the team. And yet, that is not what is to happen.

In fact, the team is refusing to change its name.

According to a recent statement from the team, it will instead take on a partnership with a local Indian tribe and implement several new programs to increase Native American awareness and recognition.

These will include the recognition of Miami Nation veterans during Native American Heritage Night at Victory Field, support of the Miami scholarship program, a land acknowledgment, and multiple fan educational opportunities.

In a post indicating their determination not to change names, the team noted that their name has been the same since it was formed in 1902 in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area. As such, it has no intention of changing it or its great heritage.

And Chief Brian Buchanan of the Miami Nation is extremely grateful to the team for that.

As he told the Western Journal, it’s a great opportunity to share his people’s story with people of all walks of life throughout the central Indiana area.

He explained that when either studying Indiana history or just traveling from place to place, it’s hard to deny the impact Native Americans and their culture had on the land. Just about everywhere you go, there are rivers, streets, state parks, cities, celebrations, and even foods that speak of the incredible history that his people had.

As Indianapolis Indians chairman and CEO Bruce Schumacher added, even the state and city name the team comes from speaks of that history and legacy. Indiana literally means “land of the Indians.” And Indianapolis, its capital, means “city of Indians.”

Buchanan is proud of that, and rightly so.

Each one of those names and mentions offers an opportunity for their story to be told, for current tribal concerns to be heard, or for their culture to be celebrated. The same is true for the Indianapolis Indians team name.

As such, he noted that he and his council “encouraged the team to remain the Indianapolis Indians.”

For him and most of those in his tribe, the term “Indian” is not nearly as offensive as the woke political left would like to make it out to be. In fact, as Buchanan says, it is simply a word that refers to and represents “who we are.”

Furthermore, when he was approached by Schumacher about his opinion on a possible name change, Buchanan was “totally appalled” that some might find it inappropriate. And apparently, most on his council feel the same way, given that only members didn’t vote for the name to be kept. Instead, that person refused to vote at all.

Buchanan added that there are indeed ways in which referring to his people can be offensive, but most are not the words so much as how the reference is used. For instance, he said that putting images of “drunken Indian” or a ridiculously cartoonish one would be offensive, as would portrayals of Indians not from this area.

“It’s all about how you do it.”

The Indianapolis Indians, however, are doing it right. They are keeping a name that credits the tribe. They are partnering with the tribe on several different fronts, and they are holding true to the heritage of the team.

And for Buchanan and his people, they couldn’t be more honored.