In an effort to avoid getting elite professional athletes mixed-up with people who suffer from permanent physical disabilities, Major League Baseball has decided to no longer referred to injured players as being on the “disabled list.” From now on, baseball players who are physically unable to play will be referred to as being on the “injured list.”
According to ESPN, “The league will make the change out of concern that the term ‘disabled’ for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports.”
The disabled list first became an official part of baseball terminology in 1966.
The appeal to change the longstanding terminology, according to MLB, came from members of “advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link 20 Network.”
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Jeff Pfeifer, MLB’s senior director of league economics and operations, notified clubs of the name change in a memo written in December.
‘In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the ‘Disabled List,” Pfeifer wrote. ‘The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name ‘Disabled List’ to be the ‘Injured List’ at both the major and minor league levels. All standards and requirements for placement, reinstatement, etc., shall remain unchanged. This change, which is only a rebranding of the name itself, is effective immediately.”
Despite changing what the list will be called, there will be no changes to how the list formerly known as the disabled list, will be conducted. The list will be comprised of a 10-day injured list for short-term injuries, and a 60-day version for long-term injuries.