The London Rippers are scheduled to open their inaugural season in the Frontier Baseball League next year. The branding has attracted international attention along with calls for a change from a women's advocacy group and city officials.

If David Martin thinks he’s heard the end of community outrage over his new ball team’s name, he may have another thing coming.

“If they do not change their name, there will be major protests in front of Labatt Park,” said Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women’s Centre. “People are not going to support this.”

Moreover, Walker wants Martin to apologize to the people he has offended with the moniker London Rippers.

Aside from the name  ‘ which Walker and others say makes an unmistakable allusion to Jack the Ripper, a serial killer who preyed on women ‘ Martin picked the team brand without public input, she said.

“The history of sports events in this community has been (that) the owners have always gone to the community and asked them to help name the team,” she said, calling Martin’s mascot “creepy.” “(The brand’s) a major fail, and the community is outraged.… We have been bombarded with phone calls and emails here.”

Walker said the branding makes at least one more thing apparent: Martin, a Michigander, doesn’t understand London one iota.

“London is well known in the movement to end violence against women,” she said. “We have a city manager, a mayor and a police chief (who) have taken a stance.

“He will fail miserably,” Walker said, predicting the Frontier League team’s future without a name change. “The London Werewolves (ball club) were not successful … and they had the support of this community.”

Donation

  • The London Majors of the Inter­-county Baseball League will make a donation to the London Abused Women’s Centre in support of their Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign. Roop Chanderdat, co-owner of the Majors, will be at Labatt Park Thursday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. giving away free tickets for the 2012 regular season on behalf of LAWC and the Majors.

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