Canadian Team London Rippers Criticized for Jack the Ripper-Like Nickname
A Canadian baseball team is receiving criticism for its questionable name choice.
The London Rippers (of Ontario, Canada) are the newest Frontier Baseball League team. They unveiled their franchise nickname and logo Tuesday, and they’re being hammered because their name is similar to one of the most notorious serial killers in recent history.
Jack the Ripper is the name ascribed to a serial killer who is believed to have brutally murdered at least five people in London, England around the late 1880s.
The team’s president and general manager, David Martin, says the team’s name has nothing to do with the killer.
“That (Jack The Ripper) is not our story,” said Martin, when told about the reaction.
“Ripping a ball is used in baseball all the time.”
Martin said the character’s name is Diamond Jack, a frustrated hockey player who found he could “rip” the cover off baseballs. Despite his talent, teams grew weary of the expense of replacing balls so Diamond Jack decided to form his own team in London, Ontario.
Alright, that story is creative, but didn’t anyone associated with the franchise or league point out that the name was quite similar to Jack the Ripper? Nobody questioned the top hat and coat logo, which is how Jack the Ripper was always depicted? Isn’t that more than a coincidence?
Usually when teams change their names, it’s for marketing purposes, not because they’re offensive. Maybe the Rippers’ motivations were innocent, but perhaps a name change is in order. It looks like the city’s mayor is already encouraging that.