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.

July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail