Dad pulls son from Wisconsin youth baseball league over 'Indians' team name

Posted at 10:39 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 07:24:08-04

A Greendale, Wisconsin youth baseball Program dad said his son won’t play as part of the league until they remove the “Cleveland Indians” from the roster.

Ethan Keller said it’s a chance for the league to be “on the right side of history.” Keller said he believes the team name is not inclusive and could cause harm to kids in the league.

“When you have a team named after another race of people you have people on the field shouting kill the Indians or beat the Indians,” said Keller. 

League officials say they hadn’t heard about the issue with the team name until yesterday. Greenfield Twi-Night Baseball/Softball released this statement Wednesday: 

Greendale Twi-Nite is a recreational youth baseball/softball program dedicated to providing solid baseball instruction with a focus on character development and teamwork . We are staffed by volunteers with a dedication to bring a fun, safe environment to our local elementary and middle school kids. The name of the Major League team, the Cleveland Indians, has been used for many years with no complaints. We are sorry that a parent has taken issue with our use of this Major League team and will evaluate its future use prior to the start of the 2019 season. In the meantime, we hope that the action of one does not disrupt the beginning of the 2018 season for 400 excited kids. 

Keller said at this point he plans to keep his son out of the game until things change.

“I don’t think I’ll allow my son to play in the league. Perhaps if the league becomes more welcoming of all types of people next year maybe he’ll be allowed to play in that league," Keller said.