U of Cincinnati removing Marge Schott’s name from the stadium

The University of Cincinnati is removing Marge Schott’s name from her ballpark and a library file in light of her racist comments while owning the Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati is removing Marge Schott’s name from her ballpark and a library file in light of her racist comments while she owned the Cincinnati Reds.

The school’s governing board unanimously approved the measure Tuesday, 12 days after a Catholic high school also decided to remove references to Schott from its facilities. Over the years, UC students, faculty, and alumni have opposed Schott’s name on school grounds, but no changes were made.

“Marge Schott’s history of racism and bigotry is at odds with our university’s central commitment to dignity, fairness and inclusion,” said school president Neville G. Pinto, who recommended the change.

The national drive for racial justice sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has prompted local institutions to review Schott’s history.

Former UC baseball player Jordan Ramey began a petition June 1 on Change.org to rename the stadium, drawing national attention. Ramey, who is black, grew up in Cincinnati and learned about Schott’s story from his father’s racist comments.

Almost 10,000 people had signed the petition as of Tuesday. Ramey was satisfied with the unanimous vote of the trustees and Pinto’s comments. The school president called Ramey after the decision.

“All of our leaders need to have that kind of vision, that kind of perspective, especially with the history we have,” Ramey said in a telephone interview. “Our leaders need to recognize our history and accept our history and take ownership of our history. That is the only way we can move forward.”

“If we continue denying it, we are going to transmit it and it will continue like this.”

After Schott’s death in 2004, most of his estate went to a foundation that funds a wide range of philanthropic companies. His name appears in many facilities in the city.

As the owner of the Reds, Schott was repeatedly suspended and eventually expelled by Major League Baseball for her insults and praises of Adolf Hitler. Team employees said Schott used insults for black players and made derogatory comments about Jews and Japanese. She said Hitler was “good at first” but then “went too far.”

Major League Baseball banned her from the team’s daily operations for the 1993 season and imposed another suspension on her after she returned and continued to make offensive remarks. Ultimately, it was forced to sell a majority stake in the team in 1999.

The university built the Marge Schott Stadium with a $ 2 million grant from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation in 2006. In addition to removing Schott’s name from the stadium, the trustees agreed to remove it from a space in its archive library.

“I hope this action serves as a lasting reminder that we cannot remain silent or indifferent when it comes to prejudice, hatred or inequity,” said Pinto. “More than ever, our world needs us to turn our values ​​into real and lasting actions.”

Earlier this month, the Santa Úrsula Academy in Cincinnati decided to remove Schott’s name from a science, language, and arts building that was built with the help of his donation. It is also renaming its sports facilities, which were named “Schottzie Stadium” in honor of Schott’s dog.

The Schott Foundation has encouraged discussions of naming rights.

“While we cannot make excuses for the rhetoric made by Ms. Schott decades ago, we can ask her to learn from Ms. Schott’s mistakes and her great love for Cincinnati,” the foundation said in a statement this month. “We appreciate what these large organizations bring to Cincinnati and fully support the decisions made by organizations that have received Foundation grants.”

Ramey, who recently graduated from UC, was pleased that his petition was so widely shared and signed.

“I am seeing less than 10,000 people who shared, signed, talked about this situation as an injustice,” said Ramey. “A lot of people feel a lot about this. I don’t think it is a celebration. I think we are moving in the right direction.”


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