Marge Schott’s name will no longer represent the University of Cincinnati.
Following a petition started by a Cincinnati baseball alumnus, the university announced Tuesday that the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to remove Schott’s name from Cincinnati’s baseball stadium and a space in the campus’ archives library.
“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 the press release. “My recommendation 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, who died in 2004, was suspended several times by Major League Baseball and eventually removed from day-to-day operations as owner of the Cincinnati Reds due to racist and anti-Semitic comments. The Marge and Charles Schott Foundation donated $2 million to the UC Athletics Varsity Village, leading the baseball stadium to be named Marge Schott Stadium in 2006.
“We stand with President Pinto and our campus community in our collective fight to end racism, inequality and indifference,” the board resolution said, according to Tuesday’s press release. “The change we want to see starts with us.”
The petition to remove Schott’s name was started earlier this month by former Cincinnati baseball player Jordan Ramey.
“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,” the petition reads. “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 the goal of the University is ‘..to foster a community that prioritizes inclusion, transformational personal development, civic participation, and global responsibility.”