Nauseating MLB Political Correctness at it Again

Nauseating MLB Political Correctness at it Again

Nauseating MLB Political Correctness at it Again

Yesterday I wrote at Sports Media Watchdog about the public overreaction to the ESPN “Chink in the Armor” story; today I came across a story about MLB messing with tradition in the name of political correctness. Last September, the League prevented the Mets from wearing hats honoring first responders during their game against the Cubs on the 10-year anniversary of 9-11.

It’s a new year, but not a new Bud Selig, as MLB has edited the replica uniform of the Houston Colt 45s the Astros will wear this season for their 50th anniversary. According to reports, MLB requested the team remove the smoking handgun from below the letters.

James Crabtree, an Astros fan, sent a letter to the commissioner’s office complaining about the decision. Mike Acosta, the Astros’ authentication manager, responded by saying the only way the team could get approval from the League was by removing the handgun. This was non-negotiable, so the uniform you will see is not the same one worn by such greats as Joe Morgan, Rusty Staub and Jim Wynn.

The “waiting to get offended” and PC crowd has been all over MLB for years.Last season the Tampa Bay Rays removed the cigar from the Tampa Smokers jersey as a result of the franchise’s support of anti-smoking campaigns.

Back in 1991, when the Atlanta Braves returned to prominence, Native American groups protested the name and demanded it be removed. At the time, college teams across the nation changed names that were deemed “offensive.” Some refused to even use the term “Warriors” on their uniform. Locally, St. John’s University changed their name to the Red Storm from the Redmen.

MLB never relented on that request, but can’t you see it happening in the future? The trend is going in that direction. Public pressure to remove names and logos related to guns is nothing new. I thought it was silly when the Washington Bullets eschewed their tradition and changed their name to the “Wizards.” Wes Unseld and Earl Monroe were Bullets, not Wizards. As if there is a drop in violence in the DC area because the pro-basketball team isn’t named after ammunition. This doesn’t fall in the top 10,000 of ways to change the inner city violence issues.

There isn’t one text book, study or survey that would convince me the smoking handgun of the Colt 45s throwback will offend or prevent violence. MLB is setting a bad precedent and opening the door for a bevy of ridiculous requests. Once you kowtow to the “waiting to get offended” crowd it will never stop. What’s to say the term “Yankees” won’t be next? What about the secular progressives? Will they demand that “Padres” should be banned? Will PETA convince MLB to remove Cubs, Tigers and Marlins from their uniform terminology?

Maybe it’s time to forget nicknames and just put “Atlanta” or “New York” on the front. I am not suggesting that using racial epithets should be allowed- Redman probably was an over-the-line term- but team names and mascots are meant to be fun, and I see them honoring a person, place, or thing. This is a bad move by MLB. It opens a door that will undoubtedly lead to more complaints from the PC crowd. Let’s not make sports the same complicated and contentious grind that politics and corporate America has become.

Sports is supposed to be our escape, not another forum to push agendas. Fortunately, they live in an anti-trust exempt world so it’s unlikely they will be pressured into doing things; unless, of course, their corporate sponsors deem it necessary.


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By Mike Silva
Monday, 20 Feb 2012

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