The University of Cincinnati’s board of trustees unanimously voted Tuesday to remove the name of former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott from its baseball stadium.
"Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion,” Cincinnati president Neville Pinto said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Schott’s name will also be removed from a space in the archive library.
Schott, who was just the second woman to own a professional sports team without inheriting it, has her name on a number of things in Cincinnati due to her philanthropy, but her legacy remains her well-known and very public racism. She was fined numerous times by Major League Baseball for making racist and antisemitic comments, including one from 1996 that praised Adolf Hitler for being “good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”
MLB banned Schott from day-to-day operations with the Reds twice for the comments she made, eventually leading her to sell controlling interest of the team in 1999. She died in 2004 at age 75, and the stadium was named after her two years later following a $2 million donation from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation.
The movement to remove Schott’s name from the stadium was started by former Cincinnati baseball player Jordan Ramey, who posted a petition on Change.org.
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.
As a community of former and current players, staff, students, alums, and Cincinnatians alike, we will not be promoting her, or her legacy any longer.
Cincinnati alumnus and former MLB player Kevin Youkilis endorsed the petition, and revealed that he declined to have a field at the stadium named after him when he learned it would be named “Kevin Youkilis Field at Marge Schott Stadium.”
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