March 31, 2007

MLB's Civil Rights Game

MLB -- which worked very hard to keep black players out of its ranks for more than 60 years -- will hold the first Civil Rights Game in Memphis today.

St. Louis and Cleveland (for whom Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, played) will take the field at 5:30. I find it odd that Bud Selig et al. believe a team that proudly wears this


on their hats -- and has it plastered all over its park -- should be part of this event. Naturally, the team won't wear that during this exhibition. They'll wear this instead
which could be seen as an admission that its regular cap might not be in keeping with the whole progressive, open-minded, anti-prejudice vibe MLB would like to project.

Here's the logo the team used from 1946-1950. Doby played in Cleveland from 1947-1955.

The legend that the team was named to honor former player Louis Sockalexis is a myth. About eight years ago, historians announced -- after reading articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer from early 1915 -- that the name was actually chosen by a group of sportswriters.

Amazingly, some people insist that these images are not racist, that they actually honour Native Americans. What about having these on a team's caps and shirts?

18 comments:

Steven said...

And what about the fighting irish? Oh yeah, no one cares if things offend white people.

Maybe the natives should care about the poor state of reservations, rampant alcoholism and lack of representation in the government a little more than a baseball mascot, eh?

redsock said...

And what about the fighting irish? Oh yeah, no one cares if things offend white people.

I'm white. I'm offended. ... Happy now?

Maybe the natives should care about the poor state of reservations, rampant alcoholism and lack of representation in the government a little more than a baseball mascot, eh?

Maybe. And maybe people should stop being racist simply because it's wrong.

Even if every single "native" lived in a mansion, was a teetotaller and held a majority of positions in government, racism is still wrong.

Thanks anyway for arguing with a couple of strawmen. Thanks also for your paternalism in deciding what "the natives should care about". I'll bet they appreciate your guiding hand in running their lives.

Woti-woti said...

MLB.com says in its lede:

"... the inaugural Civil Rights Game, presented by Autozone ..."

That's all you need to know about what's behind this (plus some cool new gear to buy) and THAT's what offends me.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the great post, Redsock.

I agree that changing the caps for that game is a tacit admission of its inappropriateness. Perhaps it's a sign of change. Here's hoping.

And what about the fighting irish? Oh yeah, no one cares if things offend white people.

First of all, that expression was set up by Irish people, and it's the Fighting Irish, not the Fighting Drunks, with a caricature of drunken Irishman beating his wife as a logo.

Second, if it bothers you, agitate against it. Get to work. Raise the consciousness. Work for change.

What, you'd rather just make sarcastic comments about other people's issues? Mighty white of you.

L-girl said...

Thanks anyway for arguing with a couple of strawmen. Thanks also for your paternalism in deciding what "the natives should care about".

Handy, that. I'm sure he saved some other commenters the trouble.

L-girl said...

That's all you need to know about what's behind this (plus some cool new gear to buy)

You're right, of course. But can you imagine that logo in Canada?? It's unthinkable.

redsock said...

Second, if it bothers you, agitate against it. Get to work. Raise the consciousness. Work for change.

Nah, it's easier to post a comment on a inconsequential baseball blog. In other words, doing exactly what he finds fault with the "natives" for.

9casey said...

Steven said:and lack of representation in the government

I t is tough to have a voice when you only make up 1% of the population......

It is strange that these huge corporations continue to use these names...


Opening day here yet????????!!!!!!!

redsock said...

I am bursting waiting for 4 PM on Monday. Have I always been this antsy about the beginning of the season? Maybe. But I think the shitty way last year ended -- plus the new players on this team -- has added to my desire to get going! Come ON!!

MFY Opening Day starter? Carl Pavano, making his first big league appearance since June 2005. I'd like to throw in a Nelsonesque "ha-ha", but Pavano will probably throw a perfect game.

L-girl said...

I t is tough to have a voice when you only make up 1% of the population......

9Casey, don't you start agreeing with me now! ;-) **

I CAN'T WAIT for Monday!!


** humour!

Andy said...

Protesting overtly against a mascot is really just buying into the idea that the logo is racist thereby giving the whole thing its own energy. If everyone acted like it didn't matter than it wouldn't matter. If I were an indian I would like that hat. I am Irish and I have a Notre Dame hat with the little fighting leprachaun. People in this world take things so seriously. The hat does not have a picture of a murdered indian on it. so why is it offensive?

redsock said...

The hat does not have a picture of a murdered indian on it.

So as long you don't actually depict a black man hanging lifeless from a noose, any other depiction of him -- bug-eyed, huge-lipped, eating watermelon, for example -- should be cool with everyone?

why is it offensive?

If you can't see that it's offensive by looking at it, nothing I write will convince you.

Woti-woti said...

Added bonus points for Opening Day? I get to dump this friggin' MLB-tv farce. Cogeco Sportspak has Monday's EI sked. posted already. My sincere sympathy for all those folks down south getting done over by MLB.

9casey said...

Andy Said: I am Irish and I have a Notre Dame hat with the little fighting leprachaun.

Yeah you do , a hat of a fucking leprachaun.Is your Daddy or was you great granddaddy a leprachaun. Do you no any leprachauns?

Leprachauns sell cereal and sit at the bottom of rainbows with pots of gold.........

And you choose to compare the two?

Jere said...

Yeah, those Natives should un-slaughter all their ancestors and start representing themselves in government. Jeez.

woti squared: It's also sponsored by Nike. Sweatshops are where you really find civil rights in action.

"The hat does not have a picture of a murdered indian on it. so why is it offensive?"

I'm moving to Canada.

L-girl said...

If everyone acted like it didn't matter than it wouldn't matter.

Ah, I see. It's the global-warming approach to problem solving: ignore it and doesn't exist.

People in this world take things so seriously.

People with brains, anyway.

"The hat does not have a picture of a murdered indian on it. so why is it offensive?"

I'm moving to Canada.


That's really all you can say at that point.

I've been trying to come up with my own reply, but anything I would write would have to be deleted.

L-girl said...

Yeah you do , a hat of a fucking leprachaun.Is your Daddy or was you great granddaddy a leprachaun. Do you no any leprachauns?

Nicely done!

redsock said...

woti:
Added bonus points for Opening Day? I get to dump this friggin' MLB-tv farce. Cogeco Sportspak has Monday's EI sked. posted already. My sincere sympathy for all those folks down south getting done over by MLB.

I ordered EI this morning, though I'll be using MLB-TV at work on Fridays and weekends. We'll see how much better their resolution is. Gameday is much improved, though!!!

Still no official resolution to the out-of-market issue, with the beginning of the season about 28 hours away.