Who Are We Honoring? Extending the Ebony & Ivy Discussion to Include Sport Facilities

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Ball State University
  • 2 Western Carolina University
  • 3 University of Louisville
  • 4 University of Florida
  • 5 Texas A&M University
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One prominent, well-debated issue in the American higher education system is whether university officials should remove the names of individuals with racist pasts from campus buildings/structures that bear their namesake. The purpose of this study was to analyze basketball and football facilities at Division I Football Bowl Subdivision institutions to explore the racialized history of the people whom these facilities are named after. Utilizing a collective case study approach, the authors identified 18 facilities that were named after athletic administrators, coaches, and philanthropists who engaged in racist activities or harbored racist views. The authors argue, using critical race theory and systemic racism theory as interpretative lenses, that naming buildings after racist persons legitimizes their legacies, rationalizes systemic racism, and continues to unjustly enrich this particular group.

Turick is with Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA. Weems is with Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA. Swim is with the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA. Bopp is with the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Singer is with Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.

Turick (rmturick@bsu.edu) is corresponding author.
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