CLEVELAND (AP) — A roller derby team that has called itself the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the city's Major League Baseball team in federal court in Cleveland on Wednesday alleging that the switch from Indians to Guardians infringes on its trademark.
“A Major League club cannot simply take a smaller team's name and use it for itself,” the lawsuit said. “There cannot be two ‘Cleveland Guardians’ teams in Cleveland, and, to be blunt, Plaintiff was here first.”
The Cleveland Indians announced in July that it would assume the name Guardians for the 2022 season after years of criticism that the Indians name and Chief Wahoo logo were racist. The new name, the team has said, was influenced in part by the two large Art Deco statues that appear to stand guard on a bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River.