Cleveland Guardians settle name-change lawsuit with roller derby team

Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Cleveland’s baseball team settled their name-change lawsuit with a local roller derby team, paving the way for them to finally become the Cleveland Guardians.

Our long national nightmare is over, as the Cleveland Guardians – the baseball team – have ended their legal dispute with the other Cleveland Guardians – the roller derby team.

The two sides reached an “amicable resolution” on Tuesday, which clears the way for the Indians to finally, officially, become the Guardians; though despite what people on social media might tell you, the name change was never really in any doubt.

More than anything, the roller derby team, in existence since 2013, wanted to be fairly compensated for the fact that they had the name first. The roller derby Guardians filed the lawsuit last month, alleging the baseball team infringed on their trademark. And with this resolution, both teams will be using the Guardians name moving forward.

Everything looks to be solved, bringing to end a very strange chapter in the franchise’s attempt to move on from the Indians moniker. How the team could have bungled this stage of the process is somewhat baffling, but it likely speaks to how fast the organization wanted to move on a new identity rather than prolonging the inevitable, continuing to draw the ire of a segment of the fan base. Better to rip the Band-Aid off and simply move forward.

Despite the lawsuit, the team has already begun making the necessary changes to Progressive Field, including removing the large “Indians” sign above the scoreboard. And, most importantly, it looks like the new Guardians merchandise is finally on the way, just in time for the holiday season. The new gear was supposed to be unveiled earlier this week, but was delayed due to these legal matters.

Nevertheless, the team has taken another step closer to officially becoming your Cleveland Guardians.

Steve DiMatteo is the host of the California Penal League Podcast, which you can find on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else you get your podcasts.