Texas Rangers have no plans to change name despite criticism of police force connection

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor

The Texas Rangers have no plans to change their name, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.

The response comes after Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman urged the ballclub to distance itself from the law enforcement agency of the same name due to its alleged racist history.

In his column, Chapman cited Doug J. Swanson’s forthcoming book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers,” which he says details the agency’s record of “savagery, lawlessness and racism.”

Chapman credits Swanson’s book for being the impetus behind city officials approving the removal of a Texas Ranger statue from Dallas’ Love Field. Along the same line, Chapman suggested the team find a new identity as protests geared toward police brutality and systemic racism continue throughout the country. However, the Rangers are standing firm after saying they have established their own, independent identity.

Here is the team’s official statement, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News:

"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 team said Friday. "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."

It’s not the first time the Rangers name has been called into question. Protests were held when the franchise previously known as the Washington Senators originally moved to Texas in 1971.

Domingo Garcia, a former Dallas City Council member, was among those protesting the Rangers name nearly 50 years ago. He tells the Chicago Tribune “we’ve been the victims of Texas Ranger violence since the 1800s.” 

There is precedence for Major League Baseball stepping in on such matters. In 2018, the league and the Cleveland Indians reached an agreement to phase out the Chief Wahoo logo that Commissioner Rob Manfred said was ‘no longer appropriate.’

The league has not yet commented on the Rangers debate.

The Texas Rangers will not change their name after Chicago Tribune columnist points to law enforcement agency's alleged racist history. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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