What makes someone want to change history (aka the Winston Churchill treatment)? Apparently, wanting to be “politically correct” is enough for Tampa Bay Rays to change theirs.
Sometimes, baseball teams have throwback nights where they don jerseys from yesteryear. This year, the rays have a throwback jersey chosen for the July 2 game. It’s a recreation of the Tampa Smokers design; but they aren’t exactly the same as the originals.
The original Smokers Jerseys have a cigar stitched as a part of the logo. Some people see this as an issue because the team has supported “Tobacco-Free Florida,” and other no-smoking initiatives in the past. It appears that the cigar was removed because it simply isn’t politically correct. So, the Smokers’ cigar is to be removed from the Jersey.
Here’s what the team had to say about this omission:
“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.”
Some think that censorship is not a celebration of any heritage/traditions.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” said Gary Mormino, a University of South Florida history professor and co-director of the Florida Studies Program. “I mean, embrace the past.” Tampa, also referred to as Cigar City, has a long history with Baseball as well as cigars. Local politicians were often seen with cigars and also, cigars were often given as gifts to official visitors to the state.
The Smokers (Rays), with the modified jerseys, will be playing against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 2. I’ll be rooting for the cigar… to be put back on the uniforms.
Via Tampa Bay Online