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Sport Former MVPs say ex-MLB commissioner with history of racism should be removed from plaque

00:22  01 july  2020
00:22  01 july  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

MVP plaque presenters to discuss Landis' name on MLB trophy

  MVP plaque presenters to discuss Landis' name on MLB trophy NEW YORK (AP) — The baseball organization that presents the annual MVP awards will consider whether the name of former commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis should be pulled from future plaques. “The issue is being addressed,” Jack O’Connell, longtime secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, said Wednesday. “It will definitely be put up for discussion.” Former NL Most Valuable Players Barry Larkin, Mike Schmidt and Terry Pendleton this week told The Associated Press they would favor removing Landis’ name because of concerns over his handling of Black players.“I could not agree more,” decorated writer and broadcaster Peter Gammons tweeted.

Retired former Major League Baseball MVP award winners are calling for the removal of Judge Kenesaw 'His name should not be represented on a plaque or award of honor, especially at this day and Ex -Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky and daughter Molly, 3, don matching swimsuits in San Diego

Former students at Lady Lumley's school in Pickering, North Yorkshire, have claimed that a culture of casual Claimed that a culture of casual racism and homophobia went unchallenged. However members of the Conscious Raising Ryedale said suggestions that the report did not offer a reflection

As America attempts to reconcile its history of racism and argues about what to do with monuments of slave owners, a conversation is beginning in baseball about the racial implications of one of the game’s most prestigious trophies.

Each year, the MVP award is handed out to the best players in the American League and National League. The common fan may not realize the MVP plaque is decorated largely with the words: “Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award” with a picture of Landis, MLB’s first commissioner.

That, in and of itself, isn’t uncommon. The Cy Young award is quite literally named after someone. Recent years have seen MLB name Rookie of the Year award after Jackie Robinson and its relief pitcher awards after Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.

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There is one key difference, however: Landis has a history of racism. He the commissioner in MLB before integration. History usually paints him as opposed to integration or a man who slowed it. MLB’s official historian John Thorn told The Associated Press that Landis’ legacy is “always a complicated story” that includes “documented racism.” It wasn’t until Landis died Robinson broke the color barrier.

Now, former MVPs — some Black, some white — are wondering whether it’s time to take Landis’ name and image off the plaque.

The AP’s Ben Walker talked to Barry Larkin, Mike Schmidt, Terry Pendleton, all past MVPs, and all agreed that having Landis’ name on the award in 2020 is problematic.

“If you’re looking to expose individuals in baseball’s history who promoted racism by continuing to close baseball’s doors to men of color, Kenesaw Landis would be a candidate,” three-time NL MVP Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia said.

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“Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn’t make it right, though,” said the Hall of Famer, who is white. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I’d gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.”

Said Larkin:

“His name should not be represented on a plaque or award of honor, especially at this day and time. If his name was taken off, I would not be opposed to it at all.”

Alex Cora, Mookie Betts are posing for a picture: Mookie Betts, right, receives his 2018 MVP plaque, which is inscribed as the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Mookie Betts, right, receives his 2018 MVP plaque, which is inscribed as the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Who was Kenesaw Mountain Landis?

Landis rose to power in baseball during the Black Sox scandal. He was a federal judge before becoming the MLB commissioner in 1920. It was Landis who banned eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox from baseball.

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Racism , the belief that humans may be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called ’races’; that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural and behavioral features; and that some races are innately superior to others.

As Amnesty publishes a report detailing allegations of police racial discrimination during coronavirus lockdowns, Spain’s former Justice Minister tells FRANCE 24 that the claims must be investigated, and if proven, prosecuted.

At a time in which the Negro Leagues had talents like Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige, Landis was presiding over Major League Baseball. While historians disagree a bit about whether he was firmly opposed to integration or just slowed it, the fact is that baseball remained segregated until after his death.

He served as MLB’s first commissioner until he died. He was eventually voted into the Hall of Fame. Landis decided in 1931 that the Baseball Writers Association of America would vote for the MVPs in each league, a practice that still stands. In 1944, a month before he died, the BBWAA voted to put Landis’ name and image on the award.

Thorn, MLB’s historian, sees how having awards named after both Landis and Robinson puts MLB at odds with itself.

“Landis is who he is. He was who he was,” Thorn told the AP. “I absolutely support the movement to remove Confederate monuments, and Landis was pretty damn near Confederate.

“If you have the Jackie Robinson Award and the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award, you are at diametrically opposed poles,” Thorn said. “And it does represent a conundrum.”

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Racism is abhorrent and we are committed to ensuring it has no place at SBS.” Other former SBS staffers responded to Bedford by saying that they The national house committee told the board the workforce should reflect the society from which it is drawn and that the organisation should continue

She said that demonstrations that often grew into violent riots clearly show people have been driven “to the boiling point” and America’s deep-seated inequality And the voices calling for an end to the endemic and structural racism that blights US society need to be heard,” Bachelet said in a statement.

What’s next for the MVP award?

Confederate monuments are a timely analogy for the MVP award, it appears. Pendleton compared the two and said it might be time for a change in baseball too.

“Statues are coming down, people are looking at monuments and memorials,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of things, to do what’s right. Yes, maybe it is time to change the name.”

“I’ve always thought about that, why is that still on there?” Pendleton said. “No doubt, MVP stands on its own. It doesn’t need a name.”

MLB itself doesn’t dictate the name of the award, so a change would have to come from the BBWAA. Jack O’Connell, the longtime secretary-treasuer of the BBWAA told the AP a change would be as easy as redesigning the plaque if the writers were to agree to it — but that might not happen before the end of the 2020 season.

The issue could be raised and discussed, but the next normally scheduled BBWAA meeting would happen at the winter meetings in December.

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Stonewall Jackson statue removed in Richmond .
Officials in Richmond, Va. removed a statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson on Wednesday, the same day the mayor ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate monuments in the city.Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney's (D) decision came after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) last month also announced his intent to remove a state-owned statue of Robert E. Lee in the city."As the capital city of Virginia, we have needed to turn this page for decades. And today we will," Stoney said in a Wednesday address announcing the order."Since the end of Richmond's official tenure as the capital of the Confederacy 155 years ago, we have been burdened with that legacy," he added.

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