Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is ready to 86 the team's longstanding nickname ... the 61-year-old told reporters over the weekend, "I think it's time to move forward."
In light of social injustice protests all over the nation ... the MLB squad's brass has said it will now look into changing its name and uniforms.
The team -- which had already canned its infamous "Chief Wahoo" logo years ago -- said in a statement, "We are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."
Enter Francona -- the Indians' manager since 2013 -- who now says he's ready to accept only one possible outcome over this ... and that's a complete name change.
"I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful," Francona said. "And I still feel that way. But, I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today."
Tito continued ... "Even at my age, you don’t want to be too old to learn or to realize that, maybe I’ve been ignorant of some things, and to be ashamed of it, and to try to be better."
The Indians say discussions over a possible new name are "ongoing" ... adding, "The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice."
As we previously reported, the NFL's Washington Redskins also say they're considering a name change ... while there's growing pressure for the Atlanta Braves to part ways with their nickname as well.