During a time of civil unrest, many cities are starting to evaluate many of the things that are seen as offensive to African American’s. Cincinnati is no different and that is why they are now reconsidering the names of many facilities that were named after Marge Schott, who was once the Cincinnati Reds, owner. Although she is no longer alive, her name is still prominently displayed throughout the city. You can find her name at the Cincinnati Zoo and on the University of Cincinnati baseball stadium. Since the death of George Floyd, many activists are calling for racial equality, justice, and inclusion.
Schott is known for the many racial slurs that she has used in the past, which called for her suspension on multiple occasions. A local high school in Cincinnati has already taken the steps to have her name removed from their facilities. They said that they could not display the name of someone who doesn’t align with their school’s values and diversity. There are other businesses and facilities that are considering doing the same thing. Surprisingly, the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation, which is the source of funding for many of the projects that bare her name, is encouraging these types of discussions.
They admit that they cannot make excuses for the things that Mrs. Schott said decades ago, they are calling for others to learn from her mistakes. They said that they appreciate the organizations that have her names displayed and that they fully support their decisions.
Schott owned and operated a successful auto dealership in Cincinnati before the bought controlling interest in the baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. Schott was not as active as she was in the 70s, as she took a back seat and allowed Pete Rose, a then, player-manager, to take a more visible position in the organization. However, after Rose received a lifetime ban from the MLB due to gambling incidents, she became hands-on with the team.
Employees said she frequently used racial slurs when talking about black players and made derogatory remarks about other ethnicities, which include Japanese and Jews. She said that Hitler was good and then he went too far.
During the 1993 season, she was banned from the team’s daily operations and later received another suspension when she continued making offensive remarks following her return. She was ultimately forced to sell a controlling interest in the team.
After selling control, she became more low key but continued to show her support to community causes. She donated $2 million for a new stadium at the University of Cincinnati and had her name placed on the exterior of the facility. There are currently ongoing discussions about changing the name of the stadium.
A previous student of the University, Jordan Ramey, who also grew up in Cincinnati, started a national petition to have the name of the stadium changed. As of this past Friday, there are currently 8,800 signatures on his petition.