Pressure mounts on the University of Cincinnati to do something about its baseball stadium named for “one of the most virulent racists in baseball history.”
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Marge Schott, the late owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, had an established reputation as an unrepentant anti-Semitic racist who was a fan of Adolph Hitler.
Although she died in 2004, her ugly past is coming back to haunt the woman who Sports Illustrated magazine called “one of the most virulent racists in baseball history.”
Schott was also rich and generous, donating $2 million to the University of Cincinnati for a baseball stadium that bears her name.
An online petition is calling on the university to change the name, and now, the college players, former players and even the university baseball team’s coach want to distance themselves from her name and the nasty reputation that comes with it.
One of those is retired Jewish baseball player Kevin Youkilis, who played for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats before being drafted into MLB and becoming a a three-time all star, winning two World Series championships.
Although Youkilis graduated from U of C before Schott Stadium was built, he is calling for funds to be raised to pay back Schott’s donation and change the name.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the alumni of @uofcincy and the @GoBearcatsBASE program to raise money to rename the field. A cause that shows how important sports programs are for building bonds between individuals of all races and ethnicities,” Youkilis tweeted, noting “the athletes that are tired of walking by and knowing what she stood for in life.”
University of Cincinnati baseball coach Scott Googins told WCPO he supports the players who’ve started a petition to change the name, saying the Bearcats discussed the petition as a team.
Aside from repeated headlines in the news such as “Schott Praises Hitler Again,” Sports Illustrated noted her chronic hatred repeatedly got her in trouble with the league.
“The “Controversies” section of her Wikipedia page is over 1,000 words long, detailing her history of disparaging remarks against all sorts of people,” SI noted.
“Her anti-Semitism and frequent use of the N-word and other racial slurs while addressing team employees got her banned from day-to-day operations of the Reds in 1993 for one year. In 1996, after an ESPN interview that inspired the above AP headline, Schott was banned by baseball through the 1998 season.
She sold the team in 1999 and died in 2004,” SI reported, concluding “So why is the baseball stadium at the University of Cincinnati still named in Schott’s honor?”
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