That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Sports Teams What’s in a Name?

wikipedia.com image: Who is offended by the Seattle Mariners name? Fans whose been following the team for 43 years and still haven’t won a World Series

Sports Teams: What’s in a Name?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

A friend of mine that lives in Seattle tells me: “I am not a sailor but if I were one, I would be offended of the Seattle team name Mariners,because they have never won a World Series in 43 years of their existence…they would be associated with a loosing sailor, and I am not a looser”.

This man is a happy-go-lucky type of man an honest man,that takes life in stride, yet he makes a point that he could be also offended by the name Mariners if he was a sailor! Sound funny and some might say ‘a stretch’but it is not an illogical statement. The Mariners are not going to change their name and that is the least of the problems for this last place team.

So here we go. As a minority myself I understand why some teams want to change their names/logos. I get it. In Cleveland, the name Indians will be changed. John Adams was a Founding Father and the second president of the United States. John Adams is also the name of the drummer that is a super fan of the Cleveland team, famous for beating the drums in the bleachers in support of the home team.

He will probably not be allowed to do that anymore. On a video Mr.Adams says: “I bought this drum for $25 dollars and on August 24, 1974 I started. I have missed 45 games in 45 years, with the same drums…If we have a guy in scoring position, that be second or thrid, then I start …(and he added) “I feel blessed I get to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world I would never have dreamed something like this would come from baseball.”

A colorful character, like so many that enjoys the game of baseball and found a unique way to show it.He is loved by the fans in Cleveland. Baseball needs all the help they can get, but this man will not be playing his drum anymore at the ballpark, he did it with no malice, he enjoyed and the fans also enjoyed it for years.

Are we going to accuse him of being a racist as well as all the Cleveland fans? Of course not. Major League parks are in need of colorful fans, in Latin America there are more characters and color among fans rooting for their teams. I am sure Mr.Adams will be missed at Progressive Field.

In 2009 while traveling to the east coast I visited the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington,D.C , in my family I have somebody that has Potawatomi blood. A tribe originally from the midwest,who were not warriors but business people, fur traders, to be exact. I learned a lot about this tribe and understand very much the plight of the Native-American, the truly originals inhabitants of this country.

Their land was taken, their treaties with the US government were repeatedly violated. Today most tribes are organized and get much respect from the government, they have their own leaders and lobbyist in Washington to defend their affairs. Still their history is a sad one.

Washington Redskins. This is not the first time the controversy has arrived, but this time because of the current situation in the country it looks, this time it will happen. The Redskins logo was introduced in 1972 and proposed by Walter Wetzel,a former Blackfeet tribal chairman and once a President of the National Congress of American Indians, and was modeled after the likeness on the Buffalo nickel.

In 2014 Mr.Wetzel said “Don’t call the Redskins logo offensive”. And there have been polls conducted . As late as August 2019 a Washington Post poll found that 9 of 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name. Ironically, and for political pressure reasons the name might be changed regardless. And it goes ever further,many Native-Americans are proud that name is on an NFL franchise.

At the end the Cleveland and Washington teams, do not set policy,domestic or foreign, they represent two teams of two of the top four professional sports leagues in our country. No more,no less.

In today’s culture we could always find something that will offend us. A lot of people do not like the scales when they visit the doctor, they might discover that weight-scale are also offensive, because they cannot believe they weight that much! I personally think parking meters are offensive, but I have to put money all the time or get a ticket,it is the law. One of the many reasons we have survived as the longest running Democracy in the world is because we are a country of laws.

I am sure by the time you read this, we might already have heard of other teams, getting pressure to change their names.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish play by play announcer 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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