Jewish disabled advocacy group convinced MLB to change 'disabled list' name

Deputy commissioner Dan Halem specifically cited Link20, a global social movement of young activists who promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, as helping to effect the change.

By MARCY OSTER/JTA
February 11, 2019 12:55
1 minute read.
CODY DECKER takes a swing during a PCL baseball game

CODY DECKER takes a swing during a PCL baseball game. (photo credit: RENO ACES)

 
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Major League Baseball’s disabled list will be renamed the “injured list,” after the intervention of advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link20 Network of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The MLB made the announcement public on Thursday, after ESPN broke the news. A memo of the name change had been distributed to teams in December, according to ESPN.

The rules will remain the same, with a 10-day list for short-term injuries and a 60-day list for more serious problems.

In the months leading up to the decision, Link20, a Ruderman Family Foundation global social movement of young activists who promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, campaigned for the change and reached out to the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Robert Manfred, to recognize that athletes who sustain injuries are simply injured and not disabled.

“Using the term “Disabled List” for players who are injured reinforces the belief that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in any sports. This perception is misleading and incorrect and has the unfortunate connotation that people with disabilities cannot take part in any professional sports. As we all know, there are many professional athletes with disabilities in all major sports in the U.S. and in the world,” the Link 20 letter sent to Manfred read.


Deputy commissioner Dan Halem specifically cited Link20 as helping to effect the change.

Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which advocates around the world for the inclusion of people with disabilities, praised the decision. “I’m  impressed with the respectful consideration of Major League Baseball as to why the term ‘disabled list’ is offensive to people who are permanently disabled,” he said Friday in a statement.


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