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Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Texas Rangers’ team name must go

The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity. “The negroes here need killing,” a Ranger wrote in a local newspaper in 1877, after Rangers fired on a party of black former Buffalo soldiers, killing four of them and a 4-year old girl. A jury would later find that the black soldiers “came to their death while resisting officers in the discharge of their duty,” an unsettling echo of the justification for modern-day police killings.

In his new book, “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers,” Doug J. Swanson writes, “In service to Anglo civilization’s slow march, they functioned as executioners. Their job was to seize and hold Texas for the white man.”

She makes a strong argument, but I can’t see this gaining the traction needed to change the name.

Hank Gillette Posted: July 16, 2020 at 09:06 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: racism, team names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5963313)
time to protest outside MSG...as the New York Rangers are also named after the Texas Rangers.

BTW - there are six pairs of teams in the big 4 sports with the same last name. Number 1 is Texas Rangers and New York Rangers. What are the five others. Without looking it up!!!!
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: July 16, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5963315)
Giants
Panthers
Cardinals
Kings
and, as you well know, Jets

   3. The Duke Posted: July 16, 2020 at 09:58 AM (#5963320)
Eventually even the Padres will have to change their name. Maybe they just need to use a numbering system

Boston would be Boston team 1
Yankees would be New York team 2
Phillies would be Philadelphia team 3


“At Fenway tonight, team 1 will take on team 2, another series in these teams heated rivalry”

It rolls right off the tongue
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 16, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5963324)
time to protest outside MSG...as the New York Rangers are also named after the Texas Rangers.

Only tangentially. The name was originally a pun (Tex's Rangers) in honor of the then-expansion franchise owner, the boxing promoter Tex Rickard.
   5. Rally Posted: July 16, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5963327)
Those numbers represent cultural appropriation. Try again.
   6. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5963337)
Only tangentially. The name was originally a pun (Tex's Rangers) in honor of the then-expansion franchise owner, the boxing promoter Tex Rickard.


Isn't that enough nowadays?
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: July 16, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5963341)
Yes, they should not be allowed to use "Texas" in their name.
   8. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5963347)
BTW - there are six pairs of teams in the big 4 sports with the same last name. Number 1 is Texas Rangers and New York Rangers. What are the five others. Without looking it up!!!!


I created this wikipedia page all the way back in 2009, and I'm glad to see that other people have kept up the work on it since then.
   9. frannyzoo Posted: July 16, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5963348)
We're all familiar with the cycle of such protests, from "kooky idea" through, sometimes, to eventual change/elimination. Here's a 1996 story on the Tomahawk Chop.

Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz would not comment on the protest.

``I’ll talk about baseball, but I’m not into politics,″ Schuerholz said.

Harry Tarpley, a Braves fan from Nashville, did a Tomahawk Chop and yelled at Bellecourt as he walked by. The men engaged in a brief argument before Tarpley’s friends pulled him away.

``They’ve got no grievance whatsoever,″ Tarpley said. ``We have our rights just like they have theirs.″


Right now, and for perhaps another 25 years, we're at the "Harry Tarpley" stage with regards to the Texas Rangers. We'll see (for those of us who live long enough).
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5963350)
RTG - good work. And extra credit for being able to distinguish between Roughriders and Rough Riders. Therefore there is no submission.
   11. DL from MN Posted: July 16, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5963368)
My kids are Rangers but the mascot is a forest ranger. Not sure anyone will get offended by forest rangers unless they're a bear trying to steal picnic baskets.
   12. Tin Angel Posted: July 16, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5963372)
I haven't been to Texas, but would the Texas LGBTQ's go over there?
   13. phredbird Posted: July 16, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5963395)

someone in the other thread suggested the Texas Rainbows.

frankly i like it.

if i was a Black person in texas today, i'd be thinking 'what took you guys so long to have this discussion?'

yea, this is going to be mocked roundly and nothing will happen for a good long while, if ever.

i always had a slight aversion to the name merely because it was a law enforcement reference, which i found distasteful on the face of it. i would change it just on that principle alone.

but frankly, i've lost the capacity to care. i'm sick of the talk around sports anymore, and now that we haven't had anything much for going on 4 months, i've found out that guess what life goes on. i've gotten used to walking from room to room, sleeping in, reading, painting, staring out the window and making one or two forays for food per week. it won't bother me now if there are no professional sports for a year or two. same with intercollegiate, which hasn't been on my radar for years anyway.

   14. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 16, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5963399)
if i was a Black person in texas today, i'd be thinking 'what took you guys so long to have this discussion?'


If I were a Tejano, I'd be saying, hey we've been having this discussion a long time, seeing as we were used for target practice. Unfortunately, the "texians' still roll the pork here.

   15. Adam Starblind Posted: July 16, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5963408)
To state the obvious, the team became the Texas Rangers in 1972, by which time the Texas Rangers law enforcement organization (which still exists today) had long since stopped killing fugitive slaves.
   16. Karl from NY Posted: July 16, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5963415)
someone in the other thread suggested the Texas Rainbows.

The other Texas team already did that
   17. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: July 16, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5963420)
i always had a slight aversion to the name merely because it was a law enforcement reference, which i found distasteful on the face of it. i would change it just on that principle alone.


Never bothered me, but that may well be because the main characters in the only TV show I associate with my dad, Laredo, were Rangers, played mostly for laughs.
   18. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 16, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5963434)
The Cardinals (St. Louis and Arizona)
The Giants (New York and San Francisco)
The Panthers (Carolina and Florida)
The Jets (Winnipeg and New York)

I can't come up with the 5th, I'm embarrassed to say. The closest is the 'Hawks and the Hawks (Chicago and Atlanta, but Chicago's team is the Blackhawks). The Oilers used to be doubled up before Houston's NFL team moved to Tennessee.

Ah, the Kings. As a California guy, that one should have popped up for me.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: July 16, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5963453)
The closest is the 'Hawks and the Hawks


Also Sea.

   20. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: July 17, 2020 at 06:18 AM (#5963543)
It's not the Rangers part of the name that needs changing, it's the Texas part. Just call them the Park Rangers.
   21. Ron J Posted: July 17, 2020 at 06:51 AM (#5963549)
Or Power Rangers?
   22. winnipegwhip Posted: July 17, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5963584)
Or the Van Cortland Rangers

Can you dig it?!?!?!
   23. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: July 17, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5963601)
"Or the Van Cortland Rangers
Can you dig it?!?!?!"

Yes better in fact fantastic. But let's just go with the Baseball Furies and be done with it.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5963602)
   25. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: July 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5963608)
Dammit ... Karl already beat me to the Astros' uniform joke.
   26. The Duke Posted: July 17, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5963709)
How about the Texas Redskins. No one is using it now.

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