Editorial: Who wants to play Genocide?
Symbols, especially those we choose for ourselves, do matter. They help to define who we are, or who we want to become. Names can be powerful symbols.
Maybe it is that the people who run netball in the parish of Manchester, or play or follow the sport there, haven't yet thought about the matter. But the Manchester Netball Association's senior tournament was completed last weekend. It was won by a team named Genocide. They have received much praise on the association's Facebook page.
The congratulations are probably deserved for their play. It isn't for their name. We find the name extremely offensive, rather than aspirational or inspirational.
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic killing of a large group of people, usually on the basis of nationality or ethnicity, like what happened to the minority Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 when more than 800,000 of them were murdered in four months, or the murder of up to three million Vietnamese by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.
Is that the image intended by a netball team of female players? Is that message endorsed by the national body, Netball Jamaica? We hope not!