The Cleveland Guardians roller derby team sued the Cleveland baseball team on Wednesday in an attempt to stop them from using their name, Sports Illustrated reported.
Emphasizing in the lawsuit that "two sports teams in the same city cannot have identical names," the Guardians lead attorney Christopher Pardo said in a statement that "Major League Baseball would never let someone name their lacrosse team the 'Chicago Cubs' if the team was in Chicago, or their soccer team the ‘New York Yankees’ if that team was in New York — nor should they."
Pardo also stressed that "the same laws that protect Major League Baseball from the brand confusion that would occur in those examples also operate in reverse to prevent what the Indians are trying to do here."
The Guardians Roller Derby team, which has been in existence since 2014, said it registered the name with the state of Ohio in 2017, according to Fox 8.
The Indians baseball club announced it would change its name in July for next season following pressure from social justice groups over the past several years.
The lawsuit said that the roller derby team offered the baseball team an opportunity to buy the team’s naming rights, but the Indians were only willing to to pay a nominal amount, which the roller derby club rejected.
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