The Texas Rangers have no plans to change their team name, following a column this week saying the franchise should cut any link to the law enforcement agency of the same name.
"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 team said in a statement Friday. "The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stands for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms."
Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman wrote in an article published Thursday that the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency has a history of violence against Hispanic and black communities.
"It may be argued that the team name honors the current agency, not the worst elements of its history," Chapman wrote. "But without the history and the legends, the franchise would not have adopted the name. No one would name a major league team 'The Police' or 'The Highway Patrol.'"
The Rangers' team statement noted the franchise's efforts to listen to and support 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," the team said. "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."