For decades, Major League Baseball has given teams the ability to temporarily remove injured players from their active rosters by placing them on a list. That list has always been called “the disabled list,” but as of now, it no longer is.
Baseball has agreed to change the name from “disabled list” to the “injured list,” ESPN reported Thursday, with confirmation from Major League Baseball. The change was announced in a league memo in December but did not become public until this week.
The reason for the change, according to the story, is “out of concern that the term ‘disabled’ for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports.” The new name will go into effect immediately.
There will be no other changes in regards to how the list works, although the league and its players’ association are currently in negotiations over rules for how long players can stay on the list. The players are said to be pushing for the return of the 15-day list, which was eliminated a few years ago in favor of a 7-day version, along with the 60-day list for more serious injuries.
While baseball had used a disabled list since the 19th century, no other major American sport uses the term “disabled list.” The National Football League has injured reserve, as well as a separate physically unable to perform (PUP) list, while the National Hockey League uses an injured reserve. The National Basketball Association uses an inactive list.
Bill Ritter, a New York news anchor posting on Twitter, called the move “a progressive step as people with disabilities gain new respect and rights in society.”
MLB renaming ‘disabled list’ to ‘injured list’ https://t.co/EyeJns8NS7
— HardballTalk (@HardballTalk) February 7, 2019
There has, needless to say, been some pushback to the change, which tends to be the case with any change at all to the way baseball has done things for a period of years.
“I think we have finally truly hit rock bottom, folks,” KFC, a contributor to Barstool Sports, said on Twitter. “Determining MLB’s ‘disabled list’ as an offensive term is rock bottom for rationality.”
When one Twitter user asked John Kriesel, a disabled veteran who served in the Minnesota State Legislature and is now a radio show contributor, if he was offended by the term, Kriesel replied with a gif that said, “certainly not.”
Others lamented that regardless of whether or not they approve of the change, they’re going to be accidentally calling it the “disabled list,” most likely for many years to come.