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Nauseating MLB Political Correctness at it Again



By Mike Silva ~ February 20th, 2012. Filed under: Outside the Apple.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Uni-Watch.com

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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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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6 Responses to Nauseating MLB Political Correctness at it Again

  1. Dallas

    That jersey with the gun is a sharp looking shirt. Its a shame we live in such a PC culture sometimes.

    My own highschool dropped the “Plainsmen” because it was too offensive to native americans. I don’t think its far fetched at all to think that the Braves, Indians and Chiefs would give into pressure one day to change their names.

    Its funny that people actually believe that the ESPN people didn’t use the phrase on purpose. You know they were giggling when they thought of it. Of course they can’t and won’t admit it as it would only make it worse.

  2. kranepool

    As bad as this Colt .45 spineless move by MLB is nothing beats the idiotic name change that St. John’s did when changing the nickname from Redmen to Red Storm. Redmen had nothing to do with Native Americans it came from the color of the basketball uniforms being all Red

  3. Frank Russo

    Kranepool,

    You stole my Thunder! Removing the name Redmen was just dumb. Seriously, what’s next….should we change the name Brewers because it might tick off recovering alcoholics? Political Correctness sucks, plain and simple! Selig is just terrible!

  4. McSorley

    Redmen was based upon the color of their uniforms, just as Stanford is nicknamed Cardinal, which is NOT the bird, but the color of their uniforms.

    If the Braves are forced to change their name, they should go back to the original Atlanta baeball team name, the Atlanta Crackers, which was a minor league team from 1901-1965, a team which Tim McCarver played for in the early 1960s.

    Hell, the worst stereotyped nickname is still in use today and hardly anybody complains!

    Notre Dame players are called “The Fighting Irish.”

    My buddy, Eamonn McEamonn, still resists that name from that school from Indiana, so much so that he beat up a guy in a bar who disagreed with him!

  5. Daler

    Bring back redmen

  6. Terry Cunningham

    I hope there will come a day when political correctness is doomed to become a total laughingstock in this country, and, of course those who had enforced it will throw a hissy fit.

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