Buh-Bye Awful Old Sportsball Racist Marge Schott!
The University of Cincinnati's board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the name of former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott from the university's baseball stadium, because she was a horrible old racist and anti-Semite. As of yet, we haven't seen any wingnuts crying too hard about the move, perhaps because so many people are still alive who remember exactly what a repulsive piece of work she'd been. Hell, even Dead Breitbart's Home For Tetchy White People just ran the AP's story on the decision, and the closest to a defense of Schott we saw in the comments — indeed, virtually the only comment, repeated endlessly — were accusations that U of Cincinnati should return the $2 million donation the Schott family foundation gave it in 2006, otherwise those university people are just hypocrites. Except the foundation says it's fine with recipients of its money dropping the name, because ew, she said some nasty stuff.
The decision to remove Schott's name from the stadium, and from "another space in the archives library," came following a petition drive led by former University of Cincinnati baseball player Jordan Ramey, which grew to over 10,000 online supporters. Among those calling for the change was Nathan Moore, one of the 2020 UC baseball team's captains, and also UC alum and World Series champ (twice) Kevin Youkilis, who's Jewish.
Youkilis posted a statement to Twitter saying he'd once been asked to donate to the university, and in exchange the baseball field itself would be named for him. Except not just for him; it would have to be "Kevin Youkilis Field at Marge Schott Stadium," and darned if he wanted his name anywhere near Schott's. Youkilis said that while he and his father were both proud of having attended the school, his dad said nah: "I will never let our family name be next to someone that was filled with such hatred towards our Jewish community. If they want to change the name completely, I'm okay with that." Gee, we wonder what the new name of the stadium and field might end up being? (We are OK with that, especially given that Youkilis's Twitter handle is @GreekGodOfHops — a reference to a beer brewed in his honor.)
Schott gained a reputation in the 1980s as a loveably outrageous straight-shooter who called things as she saw them, and media outlets were happy to present her as a charming rascal. In the early '90s, though, the public learned she wasn't just a loveable curmudgeon; she was just a flat-out racist. Gosh, what a surprising trajectory that doesn't sound like any other prominent rich assholes ever. The Washington Postrounds up some of her more vile moments, like the time in 1996 when Schott told a story about meeting Japanese prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa, complete with a "funny imitation":
"He says to me, honey, he says, 'No want Cadirrac, no want Rincoln, want Mosh Shott Boo-ick.' "
Thank heavens we've outgrown such gross racist jokes in our enlightened times. Also, in 1994, she amusingly banned Reds players from growing beards or wearing earrings, because "only fruits wear earrings."
We'll let WaPo handle the descriptions of a couple of other instances, since they're a big company and can afford the necessary PPE:
In a deposition submitted in a lawsuit filed against the team by a former employee, the Reds' former marketing manager claimed he heard Schott refer to black players Eric Davis and Dave Parker as her "million-dollar [n-words]." He also claimed he had found a Nazi armband in a drawer at her house and that he had overheard her saying "sneaky [expletive] Jews are all alike." Schott claimed she was joking when she said the slurs. [Counterpoint: In a deposition Schott explained that she wasn't prejudiced against Jews — "No, they are not smarter than us, just sharper." Big difference! — Dok]
A former Oakland Athletics employee told the New York Times in 1992 that Schott had used the n-word multiple times during an MLB teleconference years earlier. "I'm sick and tired of talking about this race thing," Schott is alleged to have said. "I once had a [n-word] work for me. He couldn't do the job. I had to put him in the mail room, and he couldn't even handle that. I later found out the [n-word] couldn't read or write. I would never hire another [n-word]. I'd rather have a trained monkey working for me than a [n-word]."
In 1993, Schott was suspended for one season by Major League Baseball for her overall terribleness, particularly her statement that "Hitler was good in the beginning, but he went too far." Heck, if she'd simply lived long enough to say that this year, and maybe suggested genocide would have been fine as long as it didn't go beyond German borders, she could be a regular guest on Fox News. In 1996, she got another suspension, for two seasons, and in 1999 she sold her interest in the Reds for $67 million.
The Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation, we'd add, has no problem with Schott's name being taken off things; earlier this month, it issued a statement indicating it's fully aware of just how embarrassing it is to try to do civic boosterism while being named for an awful piece of work, and if people want to delete her name, yeah sure, go for it.
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. 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.
So nah, the foundation doesn't want the money back. We wouldn't be surprised if some foundation officials might be looking for some way to eventually rename the organization for someone less controversial, like Pete Rose.
[Cleveland.com / ESPN / WaPo / NYT / image: WCPO on YouTube]
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.