CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati is removing Marge Schott's name from its baseball stadium and a library archive in light of her racist comments while owner of the Cincinnati Reds.
The school's board of trustees unanimously approved the move 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 objected to Schott's name on school facilities, but no changes were made.
“Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our university’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion,” said school President Neville G. Pinto, who recommended the change.
The national push for racial justice sparked by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis has prompted local institutions to revisit Schott's history.
Former UC baseball player Jordan Ramey started a petition June 1 on Change.org to have the stadium renamed, drawing national attention. Ramey, who is Black, grew up in Cincinnati and learned about Schott's history of racist comments from his father.
Nearly 10,000 people had signed the petition as of Tuesday. Ramey was gratified by the trustees' unanimous vote and Pinto's comments. The school president called Ramey after the decision.
“All our leaders need to have that kind of vision, that kind of outlook, especially with the history we have,” Ramey said in a phone interview. "Our leaders need to acknowledge our history and accept our history and take ownership of our history. That's the only way we can move forward.
“If we keep denying it, we're going to pass it along and it's going to keep going.”