Texas Rangers Have No Plans to Change Nickname Despite Public Scrutiny

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: A Texas Rangers batting helmet in the dugout before a game against  the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 24, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Rangers defeated the Yankees 8-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers don’t plan to change their nickname despite calls asking the franchise to consider doing so.

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote Thursday the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency has a long history of “savagery, lawlessness and racism.”

Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers issued a statement distancing themselves from the law enforcement agency and condemning racism:

“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 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.”

Chapman’s article also cited a new book by Doug J. Swanson, titled Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers, that outlines the organization’s ugly history: “They committed war crimes. Their murders of Mexicans and Mexican Americans made them as feared on the border as the Ku Klux Klan in the South.”

The call for the Rangers to change their name comes amid social unrest across the country spurred by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks by police officers.

Recently, the city of Dallas removed a statue of former Texas Ranger E.J. Banks amid allegations of racism:   

David Lee @CNSDallas

#BREAKING: @CityofDallas removes bronze statue of Texas Ranger E.J. Banks from @DallasLoveField over claims he acted to stop integration of black students in 1956 at Mansfield High and Texarkana Junior College, defying court order. Story forthcoming @CourthouseNews https://t.co/7iIe8EBK8Z

The MLB franchise began in 1961 as the Washington Senators before relocating to Texas after the 1971 season. They changed their nickname to the Rangers for their inaugural season in the state.