CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland will have two teams called the Guardians.
The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby club have reached a resolution in a lawsuit filed over the use of the name Guardians, allowing both to continue using it.
The sides on Tuesday jointly announced an “amicable resolution,” an agreement that permits the Indians to continue their changeover to Guardians — a switch that was delayed due to the legal matter and isn't completely finished.
No other terms of the agreement were disclosed.
The legal scuffle was another hurdle in a long route to the official name change for the Indians, whose decision to drop Indians angered some fans and alienated others. The American League team has been known as the Indians since 1915.
Next season, they'll be the Guardians, a name chosen following a yearlong process that sprang from a national reckoning over racist names and symbols.
Last month, the Cleveland Guardians roller derby team, which was formed in 2013, filed its lawsuit alleging the baseball team's switch from Indians to Guardians infringed on its trademark and employed deceptive trade practices, violating a state law.
“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.”
Now that the legal entanglement has been resolved, the Guardians baseball team can begin selling merchandise. The team had been hoping to have new jerseys and caps on store shelves in time for holiday shopping.
Earlier this month, the team began removing Indians signs in and around Progressive Field.
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Tom Withers, The Associated Press