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.

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail