Blue Jays baseball may be done but the debate about offensive team names isn’t over.
By Kathy English for the Toronto Star
Can we talk, please, about that baseball team from Cleveland that dare not speak its name on this particular page of the Toronto Star.
It’s not surprising that some readers are vexed and confused by what looks to them to be a gap between what a Star editorial advocated last week in regard to printing the name of Cleveland’s team and what they read in the Star’s sports and news pages.
“To print these names without acknowledging their offence is to be complicit in the disrespect they show,” said the Star’s Oct. 13 editorial, headlined, “Why we won’t say the name of Cleveland’s baseball team.”
“They have no place on the Star’s editorial page unless used to illustrate their ugliness and urge their extinction.”
What is important to understand is that the editorial decreed the team’s name would not be used on the editorial page. It said nothing about the rest of the Star. Subsequently, game reports, news stories and columns about the American League Championship Series between Toronto and Cleveland did use the team name that many now consider offensive to indigenous peoples — particularly in our Canada2016 time of Truth and Reconciliation.
“I was greatly pleased and encouraged by the Star’s editorial,” said one longtime reader who told me he was “extremely disappointed” to see the full Cleveland moniker in the sports pages. “If your sports columnists will not follow your request, it makes your editorial seem like a worthless PR stunt.”