With the London Rippers’ home opener just over a week away, it appears the firestorm hovering around their logo and name choice has been put out for good.
At a community services committee meeting Monday, a letter sent by Rippers president David Martin was officially received. The letter, addressed to director of parks & recreation Bill Coxhead on April 9, indicated that the Frontier League franchise would “maintain its decision on the branding of London’s professional baseball team.”
Essentially, any chance the city had in changing Martin’s mind has vanished. The name and logo will permanently stay. “It’s, at the very least, an unfortunate double entendre,” said Coun. Matt Brown. “And also a learning experience.”
Since the Rippers had already signed a lease agreement with city-owned Labatt Memorial Park when they unveiled the club’s edgy logo and name last November, all city leaders could do was ask the team to consider a branding change.
“The more we talk about it, the more publicity it’s getting,” said Coun. Dale Henderson.
Evidently, the Rippers are ready to ditch any political associations as well. “It is now time to move past the team name and create a winning environment for baseball in London both on and off the field,” reads the letter .
Coun. Bill Armstrong said that there are worse names out there. However, he agreed the Rippers fiasco should be used as a precedent moving forward in regards to the arrival of professional sports teams in London.
The buzz created by the team’s dramatic launch into the local sports scene — in large part due to its logo’s resemblance to storied serial killer Jack the Ripper — spread rapidly, attracting attention from across the globe.