"Let's hear it for the El Paso Chihuahuas!" said Brad Taylor, announcing the new name in front of a crowd of Little League players and members of the military.
The minor league club, part of the San Diego Padres organization, will wear red, black and Chihuahua tan, with a snarling (yet still cute) pup gracing the logo. "Chihuahuas" beat out the Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs.
While reaction from the crowd was mostly positive, even as some people expressed their disappointment that their finalist wasn't picked, but those who disapproved of the name found it especially problematic.
“We’re El Paso, Texas, not Chihuahua, Mexico,” said Abraham Martinez, who went with his son to the event. “I understand the name, but other than that, the Gators or Dogs would be better.”
Alexandria Marlin was blunt.
"It's racist," Marlin said. "It's not even scary."
Meanwhile, the comments on an elpasotimes.com live chat were overwhelmingly negative. "Horrible," "sucks," "lame," "totally ridiculous," and "worse name ever" were used multiple times per minute as soon as Chihuahuas was official.
But team president Alan Ledford called the name a "celebration" for the organization and hoped its detractors would come to love it.
"I hope everyone will embrace this," Ledford said. "I know for some, it will take time."
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