OPINION: MLB change reflects long-needed recognition

Morgan Vehige, Sports Editor

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On Feb. 7, 2019, Major League Baseball changed the name of the “disabled list” of players unable to play to the “injured list” for major and minor league baseball.

Over the last few weeks, Major League Baseball (MLB) has been abuzz with new rule changes and rumors flying around unconfirmed.

One rule change that is here to stay, isn’t much of a rule at all. The MLB’s disabled list is now instead called the injured list.

The injured list will still have the same rules as the disabled list had. There will be two lists, one where a player will be taken out of active play for ten days, and the other being taken out for 60 days, depending on the severity of their injury.

The MLB was smart in just changing the name and not any of the rules. If they had, then there would’ve been a bigger riot that would’ve taken the spotlight from the more important rule change.

For the last few years, disability advocates have asked for the name of the list to be changed, and now the MLB finally put the stamp of approval on it.

In a statement to the club franchises a month before the announcement, the MLB said it was changed because the league did not want to insinuate that those with disabilities are injured and cannot play sports.

It took them long enough to change, though. The inaccurate term is changing after 104 years and joining other sports such as the National Football League’s (NFL’s) injured reserve list and the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) injured list. The change has been long-awaited and was beyond necessary for the MLB to make.

With this change comes in a new dawn of understanding for those who don’t look and act like us and how they deserve the same rights and respect we do.”

It is a huge step for the disability community, one that should be noted. With it, athletes with disabilities are given some of the same rights as those without.

Athletes with disabilities have been shown all around the world, and do not nearly get enough respect and support as they do. This is a step in the right direction, but it should have happened a long time ago.

Corporations like the National Wheelchair Basketball League and the Special Olympics have always set the bar high when it comes to equality for all those who play sports. They even go further to have fundraisers helping the families of those players, which is definitely needed in some financial struggles.

They strive to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to do the exact same thing, which hasn’t really done too much anywhere around the world. Although these changes cannot live up to the longtime support of these programs, they will definitely help.

The fight for equality for disabled people has been popular since the 1900’s but has been pushed aside unfairly by other important movements. However, amidst other movements, this is just what progress towards equality for the disabled needed to finally get it up and running with the fire that it needs to make a change.

Those who dislike and fight against the change are clinging to old traditions and skewed ways. With this change comes in a new dawn of understanding for those who don’t look and act like us and how they deserve the same rights and respect we do.

There needs to be more awareness when things like this happen, that way, everyone can join in the fight for equality and become more aware of anything that goes on around them rather than pushing back simply due to lack of awareness.

This change has not impacted the game of baseball in any way, it has simply rephrased the misused word to make way for fewer preconceptions about disabled athletes. So, move over disabled list, equality is stepping up to the plate and it’s going to hit a home-run.