Letter to season ticket holders from the owner of the San Francisco Chinamen:
To those who want to change the name of this proud, storied pro sports franchise, all I can say is San Francisco Chinamen Forever! As the proud owner of this team, I just want to assure our fans that we will never change the nickname “Chinamen”. Some people are saying that the name is a racist slur, used to degrade an entire group of people. But nothing could be further from the truth! The name comes from a proud tradition of the men who worked tirelessly to construct the Transcontinental Railroad, who worked in the Gold Rush camps and helped build San Francisco. And it’s a nod to the Chinese women who were transported here to serve as prostitutes and cleaning women, often with no pay, or sometimes food.
Sure, the Exclusion Act of 1882 barred Chinese from emigrating to the U.S., and prevented naturalization to those who were already here (and was not officially repealed until 1943). And yes, there were various acts of violence toward the Chinese. But they were gentle acts of violence, filled with admiration. That is why today we celebrate these fine people with the logo you see above.
Have we become so politically correct that we can’t admire our cultural past with a team nickname? The “Chinamen” name has been a tradition in San Francisco — and in David Carradine “Kung Fu” reruns — for 70 years. It would be a crime to change it now.
Besides, recent 2009 polls have shown that 75 percent of the Chinese community have no problem with the name. Sure, nearly all of those polled live in China, don’t speak English, and have never seen the logo. But statistics never lie, especially when hand-picked and conducted when everyone used flip phones.
In conclusion, please be sure to attend our annual Laundry Night, when the Chinamen will give out coupons for free laundry service or dry cleaning to the first 1,000 fans who enter Cultural Insensitivity Park. It’s the first game with our division rivals, the New York Jews; and you just may be one of the lucky fans who get a special prize from our Yarmulke Cannon! And remember, Go Chinamen!
The graphic you see here may look like something out of The Onion, but it is dead serious. The National Congress of American Indians has produced an image putting the racially-charged stereotypes of sports organizations into a pretty simple context.
No one would ever think to call a New York sports franchise “The Jews” and make its logo a giant smiling face of a man with dark hair and wearing a kippah. The same goes for a “Chinamen” team in San Francisco.
So why is it alright for the Major League baseball team in Cleveland to call itself the “Indians?”
READ: Dan Snyder’s Main Argument About Keeping The ‘Redskins’ Name Is Sentimental BS [SportsGrid]