El Paso Chihuahuas Is Latest Racist Minor League Baseball Team Name To Anger People

El Paso Chihuahuas: a racist minor league baseball team? That is the question circling the internet today as the Pacific Coast League franchise announced the team's new name for 2014 and beyond. The announcement came yesterday that "the smallest of the world's dog breeds was chosen over four other finalists in a "Name The Team" contest that garnered over 5,000 submissions," MiLB reports. Yet despite Mountain Star Sport's President Alan Ledford's contention that "El Pasoans played a significant role in identifying our new team name," the news has been met with a furore of outrage across Facebook and Twitter, as fans voiced the opinion that the name has racist connotations and places the largely Hispanic population of El Paso in a cruel, yapping stereotype.

El Paso Chihuahuas could have been El Paso Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators, or Sun Dogs, but following various "focus groups," Chihuahuas was selected because it was "something that could appeal to kids," says the team's general manager Brad Taylor. Yet very few people have in fact found the name very appealing at all, in fact, most feel it is a case of racist stereotyping. Uproxx revealed comments from fans on Facebook. One user wrote "you A-holes put a larger shroud of racial ignorance and stupidity that this city already gets from the rest of the country." Another writes wryle "Why not just call them tacos..." Many expect the name to be repealed, however, there is no sign of a change from management.

El Paso Chiuhuahuas is not the first team name to be called racist. Team names have long been a source of controversy in the US and around the world. Names which reference Native Americans in a stereotypical way include the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins (NFL) and of course the Cleveland Indiand (MLB). Indeed, the National Congress of American Indians has issued a resolution that opposes the usage of Native team names, mascots, and logos. The Washington Redskins in particular have aroused a great deal of controversy, with some people calling the name an outright "racial slur" and iginited protests at the 1992 Superbowl. There is as yet no formal complaint agains the El Paso Chihuahuas, but clearly the reaction of many online suggests some degree of racism implied in the name.  So what do you think? Is the name insulting or tongue-in-cheek? Tell us what you think!

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Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.