Texas Rangers have no immediate plans to change team name despite public scrutiny

Tribune Content Agency

DALLAS — In the wake of public scrutiny over the history of the law enforcement agency for which they are named, the Texas Rangers baseball club has no immediate plans to change the team’s nickname

Following a syndicated column in the Chicago Tribune calling for the team’s name to be changed, the Rangers responded with a statement Friday once again condemning racism and bigotry.

“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,” said the team statement. “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.”

In a column in the Tribune, native Texan Steve Chapman cited several instances of violence against Hispanic and African American communities, dating back to the 1800s. A statue at Love Field depicting a Ranger law enforcement officer, based on Capt. Jay Banks, was removed last month. Renewed awareness of the law enforcement agency’s began with the recent publishing of Doug J. Swanson’s book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers,” which highlights instances of violence and police brutality. Swanson was a longtime Dallas Morning News veteran.

Save for connecting the marketing of the team as representing the state of Texas, the baseball club has no real connection to the law enforcement agency. There are no tributes or monuments to the law enforcement agency at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers are also not the only pro sports franchise to be named for a connection to the law enforcement agency. The NHL’s New York Rangers also trace their roots to a connection to the law enforcement agency. According to the hockey team’s website, the Rangers were a still unnamed expansion team at Madison Square Garden, which was operated by G.I. “Tex” Rickard. As players were being courted for the team in the 1920s, they were wooed to join Tex’s Rangers. Rickard liked the name and it stuck.


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