The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday urged the CPBL to consider changing its title to avoid misunderstandings and to increase the exposure of the nation’s professional baseball games.
The party, which has also been asking the government to change the name of China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), raised the issue of CPBL’s name after the world’s first baseball season opener was played in Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
No fans were allowed to watch the games at the ball parks.
“Because of the pandemic, games hosted by the CPBL have so far attracted millions of spectators from around the world. However, Jeffrey Bellone, a sports columnist in FanSided, has erroneously called the league ‘China Professional Baseball League,’” the NPP said on its Facebook page.
China’s professional baseball league, the China National Baseball League, was founded last year.
“It is little wonder that people were confused by these two leagues, because one has ‘Chinese’ in its title and the other one has ‘China.’ Do we really want to see people around the world calling our baseball players ‘Chinese baseball players?’” the NPP said.
Although the CPBL is a private organization, it received government funding after it was hit by game-fixing scandals, and fans have supported the league, despite the merger of two baseball leagues and multiple team ownership changes, it said.
Baseball should be considered a public asset, because people have equated the sport with national image and identity, rather than perceiving it as just a sport, the party added.
“The CPBL should quickly hear and integrate opinions on this matter from all stakeholders, and it should consider this matter from the perspective of raising the publicity of the nation’s professional baseball culture. The government, on the other hand, should explicitly express its position on this matter,” it said.
CPBL commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) last week said that the league is a private organization, adding that it is only the English-language name that is causing confusion.
“The country’s official title is the ‘Republic of China,’ so our name in Chinese does not cause any problems. This name carries 31 years of history, and we have to consider the necessity and efficacy of the name change campaign. This could potentially change our relations with the Sports Administration and international baseball organizations,” he said.
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