ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The calls for changes to sports team mascots, school songs and food brand names that may have a racist history are now taking aim at the Texas Rangers.
Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman writes that Major League Baseball should force the team to change its name based on new revelations of racial injustice in the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency.
“The Rangers name is an affront to Hispanics, African Americans and anyone who favors racial equity. It should be an intolerable embarrassment to the owners and fans. Even Quaker Oats’ Aunt Jemima brand had to go. And Aunt Jemima never murdered anyone,” Chapman wrote.
The Texas Rangers have yet to play a game at their new indoor ballpark Globe Life Field.
They may never get a chance, at least under their current name, if a movement to change it is successful.
“If we have to we have to, but I don’t agree with it,” said Rangers fan DJ Catron.
Catron said he was surprised to hear the team was the focus of a Chicago Tribune column, which says Texas should it give up the name Rangers, which honors a police force with brutal, racist history.
Former Dallas City Councilman and LULAC National President Domingo Garcia agrees.
“It’s a terrible history that shouldn’t be honored by a baseball team or TV series or anything else,” said Garcia.
A new book about the lawmen who served in the Texas Rangers after the Civil War depicts many of them as corrupt and racist.
The book is reason a statue of a Texas Ranger was recently removed from a terminal at Love Field.
The Texas Rangers were historically a racist, terrorist organization they participated in the extermination of Native Americans
Some sports teams like the Washington Redskins have long resisted calls for a mascot change.
At the University of Texas , the school song, “The Eyes of Texas” could be replaced because of its controversial origin and a North Texas high school may soon no longer be the running rebels.
But some Rangers fans say their team has little to no connection to its namesake.
“I don’t think it’s going to change, I just wish they would keep it like it is, it’s all history, whether do you like it or not it’s history,” said Catron.
The momentum to eradicate racially charged symbols and names has never been stronger.
CBS 11 asked the Rangers baseball team for comment on the matter and they provided this written response:
“While we may have originally taken our name from the law enforcement agency, since 1971 the Texas Rangers Baseball Club has forged its own, independent identity. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stands for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms.
“To help bring about meaningful change, we are committed to listening to and supporting our communities of color. Over the past 30 years, the Texas Rangers Foundation has invested more than $45 million on programs and grants in the areas of health, education and crisis assistance for youth in our underserved communities. We go forward committed to do even more, with a renewed promise that the Texas Rangers name will represent solutions and hope for a better future for our communities.”