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The Birmingham Niggers are a professional American Baseball team from the windswept steppes of Birmingham, Alabama. Most news outlets consider the name offensive, and refuse to print any statistics for the team, or advertise any upcoming games. This despite the fact that most teams forfeit any games scheduled with the team, in protest of their disgustingly insensitive name, giving the team an amazing undefeated record.
Founded in 1898 in Birmingham by Nathan Bedford Forrest, who also founded the Ku Klux Klan, the name was selected to "harken back to the spirit of the hard-working, fun-loving negro". The team has been all white since its inception to minor league play. Forrest spared no expense in hiring the players for his team; he once quipped "Some teams have 'cracker jack' players, we've just got 'crackers!'"
The Niggers joined the NCAA (Niggers, Coons & African-American) League but of course, nobody would play them.
Of late there have been moves by the owners to instead claim that the team is actually named after Guy Gibson's (of Dam Busters fame) pet dog, though they have thus far been unsuccessful (possibly as Americans don't realise that anyone else was in World War II).
Forrest's original team played in one of baseball's first venues, a ballpark that featured a wooden grandstand and bleachers surrounding the diamond. Officially named Stonewall Jackson Memorial Stadium, fans simply dubbed it the "Slave Shack", the storied first home of the Niggers.
In the 1956 season, the owners group deemed that the old Shack was a firetrap and an eyesore. Money was raised for a new home for the team. The Nathan Bedford Forrest Stadium was named for the Niggers (and Klan) founder. Once again, fans gave the new venue its popular name "Shotgun Shack". The Shotgun was a concrete bowl structure that also served as the home of the football and soccer teams of Birmingham.
The Niggers played 40 great seasons at the Shotgun, but fans longed for a cozier, baseball specific stadium. In 1996 work was begun on the current home of the Niggers. With corporate sponsorship by Nabisco, the 1997 season saw the Niggers in Ritz Cracker Stadium. A baseball-only park with lines and dimensions that echo baseball's golden age venues. As usual in Niggers history, fans have dubbed the new stadium "The Projects".
Many, well, a couple of, famously racist major leaguers got their start with the Birmingham Niggers. Of note was Ty Cobb, the Detroit Tigers great, who got his start in minor league play for the Niggers. The Georgia Peach, as he was affectionately called, learned his enlightened approach to race relations in Birmingham. Tales of Cobb beating up black fans, black hotel employees, and black blacktoppers abound. Apparently Cobb took the opposing fans' signs of "Beat the Niggers" to heart.
The Slave Shack was host to Cap Anson, who kept African-Americans out of Major League ball until 1947.
In more recent years, hurler John Rocker called Birmingham home for his minor league career.
The Team's colors are Brown, Black, and Tan. The home uniform is a light tan with "Niggers" emblazoned on the chest in black. A small "Rufus" in the center of the black caps and helmets is also present in the road uniforms. The jersey and pant colors for the road are the dark brown with "Niggers" in black.
For generations, fans have enjoyed the antics of the blackfaced "Rufus". Rufus also appears on the caps of both road and home uniforms.
In the midst of recent depressed team memorabilia sales, ownership launched a campaign to update or change the mascot to better appeal to the modern fan base. A survey was conducted from fan input and proposed mascot changes included the Porch Monkey, the Jungle Bunny, the Coon, the Jackalope, Michael Jackson, Vanilla Ice, and Spiderman.
Controversy has arisen over the name, imagery and the lack of African-American players or management of the team. Boycotts, protests, and lawsuits have plagued the team in modern times. Downplaying the controversy, the team's media guide notes: "You don't see any Native Americans playing for the Indians or Redskins, do you?" NAACP spokesman Jamaal A. White replied "No self-respecting brother would play in such an environment."
Begining in the 1970s, a number of African-American celebrities have expressed interest in "reclaiming the Niggers". Elder statesman and star of Cooking with Freebase, Richard Pryor, began discussions in the 1970s, though no movement was made toward a sale at that time. In the early 1990s, noted physician and winner of the Nobel Prize for pimping, Dr. Dre, expressed a desire to "Shout out to my Niggers!" True to form, however, the management group of the team refused any offers from Black entrepreneurs, and also denied rumours of an imminent sale (or indeed a later Eminem sale). Whitely remarked "I don't care if their money is green, their asses are still black!"
This refusal of legitimate offers has led to almost universal disdain and condemnation. During the redevelopment that led to the creation of No Orleans, President George W. Bush was noted for his disdain for the team. As Kanye West attested with admiration at the time, "George Bush doesn't care about the Niggers."