The University of Cincinnati will remove the name of a sports figure from its baseball stadium after renewed calls from students and alumni about her frequent use of offensive language.
The university’s baseball stadium, as well as a section of its archives library, will no longer bear Marge Schott’s name. Schott, a former owner of the Cincinnati Reds who died in 2004, frequently used racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs.
“Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion,” University of Cincinnati President Neville G. Pinto said in a statement.
The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to remove her name from the stadium and a section in the university’s archives library this week after a petition from alumni and current student athletes urged the school to strip her legacy from the stadium.
“I hope this action serves as an enduring reminder that we cannot remain silent or indifferent when it come to prejudice, hate or inequity,” Pinto said. “More than ever, our world needs us to convert our values into real and lasting action.”
CNN has reached out to the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation for comment and is waiting to hear back.
But the Schott Foundation did share a statement with CNN affiliate WLWT.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
Marge Schott’s reputation reexamined
Schott was the first woman to own a Major League Baseball team when she became the managing general partner in 1984, but her reputation was sullied by her racism, known throughout the league.
In 1992, Schott was fined for saying, “Hitler was good in the beginning, but he went too far,” according to the Society for American Baseball Research. Her repeated praise of Hitler and offensive statements about Black players and Asian Americans landed her more suspensions and ultimately led her to sell the franchise.
She donated $2 million to the University of Cincinnati’s athletics program through her foundation before her death.
A slew of other schools have started examining their history and traditions’ racist origins. South Carolina’s Clemson University this month changed the name of its honors college to omit the name of John C. Calhoun, a slaveowner whose plantation is now Clemson’s campus. The University of Florida banned its “Gator Bait” chant because of its link to racist imagery. And Monmouth University in New Jersey will remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its Great Hall and rename it for one of the lead architects, a Black man.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez contributed to this piece