So, the Tampa Bay Rays wanted to pay homage to the rich heritage of organized baseball in their region by wearing the jerseys of the 1951 Tampa Smokers, a minor league team which played in the fair city many moons ago, for a July 2nd game. There was only one problem: the jersey featured a cigar emblazoned on the front of it. In a typical, knee-jerk, gutless reaction motivated by political correctness, the Rays made the decision to remove the cigar from the jersey to prevent the 4,000 Rays fans likely to be in attendance the psychological trauma and possible suggestive nature of seeing an image of a nondescript tobacco product. Won’t somebody think of the children?
“We have chosen to wear the Smokers jersey to celebrate the rich heritage and traditions surrounding baseball in Tampa Bay and this version of the logo is intended only to be a slightly more contemporary version of that wonderful history.”
Jesus. Is this really where we are as a society? That the P.C. Police have imposed such a paralyzing environment where the fear of reprisal from some loudmouthed, self-righteous group who claims to know how everybody else should live their lives precipitates a situation where an image of a damn cigar needs to be eradicated from a jersey to make it safe for public viewing? It’s bad enough that in movie ratings, “smoking” is considered an issue necessitating a warning. It’s a damn cigar, for crying out loud – not a blunt.
Further, why even bother honoring the team if this is how the Rays insist on going about it? Why didn’t they instead go all out with their revisionist history and insist the team was actually called the Tampa Gum Chewers or something? Actually, the American Dental Association would probably have a problem with that idea. Better yet, what the Rays should have done is kept the cigar on the jersey but then put some of those new tobacco warning labels all over the front of the jersey. I believe that would incorporate what is now referred to as a “teachable moment.”
A big old gutless fail on this one, Tampa Bay Rays.
Note: the phrase “Have a Cigar” is, of course, a reference to the classic Pink Floyd tune of the same name. Just doing my part to enlighten all of you young whippersnappers out there to some good music.
Rays eliminate cigar from Tampa Smokers throwback jersey [The Tampa Tribune (via Big League Stew)]