Say goodbye to the DL, baseball fans. No, this is not to suggest that players who sustain debilitating injuries during a game will be forced to “play through the pain.” They’ll still get time off to recover. They just won’t be placed on the disabled list anymore. Henceforth, it will be known as the injured list (IL).
The league will make the change out of concern that the term “disabled” for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports. Deputy commissioner Dan Halem said the change was made at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link 20 Network.
The network makes it seem as though this is predominantly a case of semantics and that advocacy groups for people with disabilities merely “suggested” the change. In reality, it is a case of pressure brought to bear on Major League baseball in the name of political correctness.
As ESPN author Jeff Passan notes somewhat more candidly further down:
Jeff Pfeifer, MLB’s senior director of league economics and operations, notified clubs of the name change in a memo written in December.
“In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the ‘Disabled List,'” Pfeifer wrote. “The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports.”…
There is no misconception. To be brutally frank, while some players with disabilities have had fruitful careers — think pitcher Jim Abbott, who played professional baseball for a decade with several teams despite the limitation of have one hand — athletes who are, for example, wheelchair-bound are excluded from the game. This is not meant to be callous. It is a simple acknowledgment of reality.
No one is going to confuse a player with a groin or hamstring injury with a paraplegic regardless of whether the list he is placed on is called the “disabled list” or something else. The league’s willingness to bend is just the latest victory for grievance mongers.