Brooklyn Boro

Nets should be renamed after Jackie Robinson, says Brooklyn Assemblymember

July 7, 2020 Editorial Staff

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-Brooklyn) sent a letter on Tuesday to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Joe Tsai, the governor of the Brooklyn Nets to ask for the Nets to change their name to something that pays homage to Jackie Robinson, the first athlete to break the color barrier in professional sports in 1947 while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“The Nets moved to Brooklyn eight years ago but have still kept their New Jersey nickname. It’s time for the Nets to fully embrace their Brooklyn roots by changing their name to honor one of Brooklyn’s most iconic and important sports stars — Jackie Robinson. Brooklyn is a dynamic, diverse, and animated place, we shouldn’t have our team named after an inanimate object,” said Assemblymember Carroll.

Carroll says in the letter that he supports the idea of renaming the Barclays Center after Robinson, but thinks that Brooklyn’s only professional sports franchise, the Nets, should follow suit.

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Assemblymember Robert Carroll. File photo by Mary Frost
Brooklyn Assemblymember Robert Carroll. Photo: Mary Frost/Brooklyn Eagle File

“The team should be named after one of the most exciting and important sports and civil rights icons of the 20th Century: Jackie Robinson. While our nation grapples with who we should honor and what names should adorn teams and buildings it would be fitting for the Brooklyn Nets to honor the legacy of a true Civil Rights Icon and the first African American player in professional sports — Jackie Robinson. Robinson played his entire career in Brooklyn and highlighting his legacy will remind millions of his trailblazing work. Brooklyn is universally known as a place of diversity and forward thought — having our only professional sports team honor the spirit Jackie Robinson would be fitting. Names like the “Jackies” “Jacks” “42s (forty twos)” or “Breakers” would all be fitting tributes to Robinson and great names for Brooklyn’s basketball team,” said Carroll.

Read Carroll’s full letter below.


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4 Comments

  1. Reggie

    The Nets played on Long Island with that name for a decade; it’s not a Jersey thing. That said, the Cleveland Indians (who may be looking for a new name too) played for years as the Naps, taking their name from Napoleon Lajoie, the team captain.

  2. Michael Gordon

    Assemblyman Carroll needs to get his facts straight. Long before the Nets played in NJ they played as the New York Nets on Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum.

  3. elemengee

    What does Jackie Robinson have to do with the Nets or with Barclay Center? If you want to honor a baseball legend, name a baseball field or a baseball team after him, not an unrelated team or building that has nothing to do with baseball.

  4. Seth Morgan

    I just wanted to remind the Brooklyn Eagle that there is in fact a professional sports team in BK that predates the Nets residency in the borough and actually won a championship last season. #BrooklynCyclones