Civic-Minded Wrestler Of The Week: Tiger Jeet Singh

There's a minor controversy brewing in Ontario, where trustees have voted to name a public school after longtime wrestler Tiger Jeet Singh. Why all the fuss? It's not like he attacked audience members with his sword that many times.

Singh had a good run for the NWA and the WWWF, but really made his name in Japan, where their love of broad ethnic stereotypes surpasses even our own.

In Japan people call him a villain whom they love to hate. They want their pictures taken with him but at the same time they are literally afraid of him as he walks in the streets with a sword and a stick, indiscriminately beating people with no fear of any prosecution."

A wealthy man, he settled comfortably into family life in Milton, Ontario, perhaps future home of the Tiger Jeet Singh Public School.

And why not? He's a visible and active member of Toronto's Sikh community. He donated $100,000 toward a new hospital and $25,000 to Milton's Historical Society, and his work on local toy drives is legendary. And then you look at the other candidates to name the school for, and Singh is the only one that stands out:

The Halton board solicited suggestions for the new school through libraries, schools and on its website, and then whittled those down to a shortlist of four for trustees to vote on: Coates Crossing, Robert McCaw (former principal and well-known photographer), John Deacon (former principal and mayor), or Tiger Jeet Singh.

His legacy falls somewhere in between that of an actor and a hockey player, both of which have schools named after them in Canada. So why not? We're worried about our kids wanting to learn? I'd have never wanted to leave the building if my grade school were named for someone cooler than some women's rights campaigner.

Milton school gets WWE wrestler's name [Toronto Star]