The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees unanimously voted to remove late Cincinnati Reds owner, philanthropist and racist-comment-maker Marge Schott's name from the school's baseball stadium and a portion of the archives library.
Former UC Baseball player Jordan Ramey launched a change.org petition to change the name of the stadium, stating:
"Marge Schott was a former owner of the Reds before she was banned from the MLB for her support of Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler in 1996. She is also known to have said multiple racial slurs towards African-Americans, Jews, and people of Japanese ancestry...
Marge Schott Stadium is represented by players of all races, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities, and plays host to middle and high school baseball teams as well. The field is getting national attention every year and to promote somebody so racist is not only irresponsible, but it is also directly contradictory to the University's mission statement which says that the goal of the University is '..to foster a community that prioritizes inclusion, transformational personal development, civic participation, and global responsibility.'
We have a responsibility to develop our kids for the future. Black kids should not be made to play and represent a name such as hers and white kids should not be celebrating her legacy subconsciously."
UC President Neville G. Pinto agreed and recommended to the board that they vote to erase her moniker from campus.
"Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion. My recommendation to the board to remove her name is grounded in the firm belief that speaking out against exclusion is as essential as speaking up for inclusion," said Pinto in a release. "I hope this action serves as an enduring reminder that we cannot remain silent or indifferent when it comes to prejudice, hate or inequity. More than ever, our world needs us to convert our values into real and lasting action.”
The board concurred and in a resolution dated June 23 said that Schott's name will be removed from both spaces effective immediately.
According to the university, the "Schott name on the baseball stadium dated back to 2006, two years after her death following a $2 million donation to the UC Athletics Varsity Village project by the Marge & Charles Schott Foundation."
The Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation made a statement regarding the possible renaming of the building last week.
“Over the past week, there has been public discussion about major financial gifts with naming rights from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation to community organizations as it relates to the current conversation around racial equality. While we cannot make excuses for the rhetoric made by Mrs. Schott decades ago, we can ask you to learn from Mrs. Schott’s mistakes as well as her great love for Cincinnati. We appreciate what these great organizations bring to Cincinnati and we fully support the decisions made by the organizations who have received grants from the Foundation."
According to reports, the foundation has not asked for its money back.
This isn't the first time UC has removed a possible white supremacist's name from a building.
In December, following recommendations from a task force and President Pinto, the board voted unanimously to remove the name of a controversial slave owner — Charles McMicken — from UC's College of Arts and Sciences.
McMicken deeded land to the City of Cincinnati that was used to found UC. The university's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences bore his name. Now, it is simply the College of Arts and Sciences. Other uses of McMicken's name, including the McMicken Hall building, remain, however.
McMicken owned slaves and stipulated that the college created on his land should serve white students only.
In December 2018, Pinto announced he was forming the working group to consider the question of whether the university should continue the use of the name.
A committee of University of Cincinnati faculty, student government representatives and administrators issued a report in November 2019 recommending that the university discontinue use of McMicken's name in association with the academic division.