After months of uncertainty, the 2020 Major League Baseball season finally begins this week. Not missing an opportunity to take advantage of mainstream media and woke capitalism’s crusade to cancel “offensive” sports mascots, Washington Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah has focused her aim on the Texas Rangers.
“To know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen,” declares Attiah. “Rangers were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory.” So now the Rangers must go, too.
Attiah has been busy of late generating a peculiar type of racial dialogue. On her Twitter account last month, she suggested that “white women are lucky that we are just calling them ‘Karen’s’. And not calling for revenge.” In the same, now-deleted series of tweets, she also blamed the “lies and tears” of white women for the 1921 massacre of “Black Wallstreet” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
Given Attiah’s professional aspirations, I’d like to help her by providing reasons every professional baseball team needs to change its mascot. This will hopefully give Attiah enough material to acquire her desired Pulitzer.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are named after the Western diamondback rattlesnake. Many Christians and Jews are “triggered” by this reptile, given the role of the serpent in Genesis 2. Consider also the 7,000 Americans every year who receive venomous bites from such creatures.
Atlanta Braves: Many American Indians don’t appreciate their heritage being exploited for a mascot. This one also originates from a nickname of 1912 owner James Gaffney, called one of the “braves” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political machine, an epicenter of wanton bribery, corruption, and patronage.
Baltimore Orioles: It may seem benign to name a franchise mascot after a bird, but the species acquired its name from its color’s resemblance to the coat of arms of Cecil Calvert, 2nd baron Baltimore, the first proprietor of Maryland. In other words, the team honors a dead white male and a noble!
Boston Red Sox: How can socks be offensive, you ask? Well, did you know the team stole its name from a “colored” team that played in Norfolk, Virginia in the 1880s? Cultural appropriation.
Chicago White Sox: Their socks are white! Is the obvious connection to white privilege and oppression not enough? And don’t even suggest changing it to Black Sox, which has historically negative associations with the 1919 team that threw the World Series.
Cincinnati Reds: This name also began as a descriptor of players’s socks color. It’s also reminiscent of communism, which could be either appropriation or triggering (and perhaps in our intersectional world, both).
Cleveland Indians: If the Redskins and the Braves have to go, so do these guys. Duh.
Colorado Rockies: These guys are named after the continent’s greatest mountain range, derived from a Cree word. Chalk another infraction up to cultural appropriation.
Detroit Tigers: They’re derived from Michigan’s oldest military unit, which fought not only in the Civil War but the Spanish-American War, a brutal, imperialist venture. Also, hasn’t “Tiger King” made us all a little more sensitive about the mistreatment of big cats?
Houston Astros: Honoring our nation’s amazing space program seems all well and good — until you remember the movie “Hidden Figures,” which exposed the history of racism at NASA. Fans of The Jetsons’s dog are also incensed.
Kansas City Royals: This midwestern city is “the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market,” and nationally known for its American Royal Livestock and Horse Show. Yet livestock flatulence contributes to global warming, and according to PETA, horseback riding is exploitative.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: A religiously themed name discriminates against non-believers. And have you read what angels did to Sodom and Gomorrah and ancient Egypt?
Los Angeles Dodgers: This name references people who dodged trolley cars in Brooklyn, from which the team originally hailed. It’s derisive towards pedestrians. Also, dodgeball is an aggressive game that encourages bullying.
Milwaukee Brewers: Memorializing the city’s prolific beer industry is insensitive to anyone struggling with alcoholism or who knows someone with an alcohol problem. Also, it’s prejudicial — there’s no team named the Vintners or Distillers.
Minnesota Twins: Sure, Minneapolis and St. Paul are the “twin cities,” but according to Miley Cyrus, climate change demands we stop having children, let alone two.
New York Mets: Short for Metropolitans, this name implicitly endorses urbanization, pollution, and global warming.
New York Yankees: The most storied franchise, their name evokes the exploitative Yanqui imperialism and capitalism that ravaged Latin America and perpetuated banana republics.
Oakland Athletics: It’s amazing that in 2020 we could have a mascot so explicitly prejudicial against non-athletic people. The dreams of countless plump children have been shattered by this moniker.
Philadelphia Phillies: If the infamous jail at the old Veteran’s Stadium and the terrible antics of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” have taught us anything, it’s that Philadelphians are jerks. The only baseball stadium where I’ve been physically threatened is Philly’s. True story.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates were notoriously violent thieves and rapists, including against enslaved blacks. Henry Morgan (of Captain Morgan Rum notoriety) killed and plundered across the West Indies. Furthermore, the obscene number of “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies is a crime in its own right.
San Diego Padres: This team name is both preferential towards and derisive of Catholic priests. Naming a team after clergymen is patronizing and demeaning. And let’s not forget the California woke mob’s animus towards missionary friars.
San Francisco Giants: Gigantism is a serious condition typically caused by an adenoma, and not to be taken lightly. This name is also triggering for short people.
Seattle Mariners: Sailors are notorious for their foul mouths and bad behavior, especially during port calls.
St. Louis Cardinals: Recently I saw a cardinal in a tree and asked his opinion of the nickname. He flew away. Interpret that as you will. This name is also biased in favor of Catholics.
Tampa Bay Rays: This mascot references another endangered animal. How many rays must die before we see the inhumanity of this?!? Also, it’s insensitive to glorify the creature that killed Steve Irwin.
Texas Rangers: Attiah covered this one, but we should also bear in mind that the Rangers are a police force, and thus, should be defunded. Chuck Norris can also be quite triggering.
Toronto Blue Jays: The bluejay is one of the most aggressive and jerkiest birds. This mascot implicitly endorses toxic masculinity.
Washington Nationals: How dare a single team claim to represent the entire nation — talk about power structures! Also, the city is still named after two white slave owners.
If one thinks creatively enough, anything can be labeled derogatory and offensive. Which, if one is desperately trying to nab the next Pulitzer, I suppose is precisely the point. As the 1619 Project so perfectly proves, that journalistic award is only a few provocative, ahistoric, and morally dubious articles away.