FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Let’s Name the New DC Baseball Team!

Washington DC is getting a new baseball stadium the same way a dog gets medicine at the vet: held down, pried open, and force fed. But this medicine holds no cure for what ails our aching city.

Mayor Anthony Williams’ $440 million publicly funded stadium scheme is, even for this baseball fan, an obscenity. It’s like sending Dick Cheney to ‘All You Can Eat’ night at Beefsteak Charlie’s: just because we are entertained doesn’t mean it’s not both dangerous and grossly irresponsible.

But that’s not where the story ends. Mayor Williams, proving once again that inflicting injury is no fun without a sweet insult, wants the team to be named ‘The Grays.’ ‘Grays’ is neither a self-aggrandizing nod toward the Mayor’s sparkling personality nor his favorite color. It is in Williams’ words ‘a tribute’ to the area’s old Negro League team, the Homestead Grays, which featured Hall of Fame legends Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

The Mayor’s nostalgia for the Negro Leagues and his touching olive branch to this majority African-American city is somewhat dulled by his battle plan to build this $440 million lemon in the overwhelmingly Black South East Neighborhood of Anacostia. He is willing to use ‘fair use’ legal clauses to tear down people’s homes on the proposed stadium grounds if they won’t sell out to the city. Local rents are expected to skyrocket making it near impossible for poor and working class Blacks to stay in the area. Sports writer Sally Jenkins has made the point that if the team doesn’t meet its profit goals, the only recourse will be to further tax the citizens of DC, making working people pay for baseball games most cannot afford.

It’s a stunning act of chutzpah unrivaled since George W. Bush lobbied last year to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Williams wants to attack the most historic Black neighborhood in the city in the name of honoring the Negro Leagues. Not since the production of the 1992 pornographic film ‘Malcolm XXX’ has a symbol of African-American pride been so abused.

Those of us repulsed by the racist land grab at play in South East DC need to be clear that naming the team the Grays is a slap in the face to every player who endured the forced segregation of the Negro Leagues with skill and dignity. Instead, we need to come up with our own team name. Let’s conjure some ideas that let Williams and his political cronies on Capital Hill know exactly what we think of the entire rotten project. Surely a city with the history of Washington DC can inspire some more appropriate choices. After all we have been center stage for Newts, Watergates, and more than a few Dicks.

Please send suggestions to editor@pgpost.com.

All submissions will be run next week on CounterPunch. The winner of the contest will receive a T-Shirt bearing the new name. Hell, if they can use baseball as a political tool to advance their agenda, then so can we.

Once again e-mail editor@pgpost.com to submit an entry.

To get this column sent to you every week, email edgeofsports-subscribe@zirin.com.

 

More articles by:

DAVE ZIRIN is the author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States (The New Press) Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com.

September 26, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Time to Wake Up: the Neoliberal Order is Dying 
David J. Detmer
History Distorted: Sam Wineberg’s Critique of Howard Zinn
Robert Hunziker
An Unforeseen Climate Beast Awakens!
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Many More Women Are There?
Jörg Wiegratz
The Age of Fraud: the Link Between Capitalism and Profiteering by Deception
John Kendall Hawkins
Now There’s a Wall Between Us, Something There’s Been Lost…
William Kaufman
Brett Kavanaugh’s Wayward Penis: A New Twist
Michael Welton
A Wake-Up Call to the Canadian Left
Patrick Irelan
Brett Goes to School 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
All Wars Are Illegal, Let’s Act!
Dean Baker
Robots, China and the Failure of Economics Reporters
Matthew Johnson
Cancel Kavanaugh
Rohullah Naderi – Rustam Ali Seerat
The Option of Self-Defense for Hazaras
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail