Rush weighs in on Rippers

London Rippers owner David Martin claimed the team intended no such reference to Jack the Ripper....

London Rippers owner David Martin claimed the team intended no such reference to Jack the Ripper. (QMI Agency)

PATRICK MALONEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:43 PM ET

LONDON, ONT. - If London Rippers owner David Martin was looking for free publicity, consider his team's contentious name a grand slam.

But like a foul ball screaming into the dugout, the controversy moved too fast for the city to avoid being hit Thursday.

The Rippers -- and local critics saying the name and logo intentionally reference serial killer Jack the Ripper -- are drawing attention from U.S. media giants who, suffice it to say, don't exactly cover the Frontier League regularly.

The name, unveiled Tuesday night, almost immediately sparked a local backlash from people offended by the apparent Jack the Ripper imagery and irked by how it could reflect on London.

Martin claimed the team intended no such reference.

Anyone hoping London would escape the attention of the sports-media echo chamber would have been sorely disappointed Thursday as the Rippers continued making headlines.

But not everyone was expressing outrage.

Right-wing radio legend Rush Limbaugh, shown at left, actually applauded the name. "Look, I admire creativity, and I admire crossing the line," Limbaugh said Thursday.

Limbaugh made the comment as he referenced a Free Press article on the Rippers dust-up.

"I love offending people when it's genuinely funny. I just do. Look, people are so wound up, so tightly wound just waiting to be offended. I love to give 'em what they want."

NBC Sports, USA Today and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer all referenced the Rippers, as did the popular sports website Deadspin. It seemed to mock the owner's claims he didn't intend any Jack the Ripper references.

The Post-Intelligencer poked fun at the controversy.

"Intentions aside, you've got to hand it to the Rippers. This is either the best or the worst PR move in Canadian baseball history but, either way, now you know there IS a Canadian baseball league."

Martin met Thursday with Mayor Joe Fontana and Megan Walker of the London Abused Women's Centre. In an interview with CJBK host Mike Stubbs, Martin wouldn't rule out changing the name.

"As of right now, we're considering all of our options," he said. "We're going to sit just for a little bit and come back and make our decision in a few days."

Twitter.com/PatatLFPress


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