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Cleveland baseball, roller derby teams reach agreement; both will continue to use Guardians name

Both teams released a joint statement detailing their agreement.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland’s professional baseball team and a roller derby team in the city have come to an agreement and will both use the name Guardians. 

The announcement comes after the Guardians Roller Derby filed a lawsuit against the baseball team, formerly known as the Cleveland Indians, last month. The lawsuit was in response to the Indians’ announcement over plans to change the team’s name to the Guardians, a name the roller derby team made clear was already in use. 

The teams jointly announced an “amicable resolution” on Tuesday, saying both organizations will continue to use Guardians. No other terms of the agreement were disclosed. 

When the baseball team originally announced plans for a name change, team leadership said they were aware of the Guardians roller derby team -- which has not had a season since 2018 -- but had taken the proper legal steps to appropriate the name. 

The derby team's lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Ohio, alleged at the time that the baseball team disregarded the rights "of the original owner."  

The legal scuffle had delayed the Indians' transition to Guardians, which will soon become official. The American League franchise has been known as the Indians since 1915.

The Indians were hoping to have Guardians merchandise available to fans this month with the holidays approaching.

This month, the baseball team began removing signage in and around Progressive Field.

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