The University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State University Beavers football teams have mutually agreed to cease referring to the annual rivalry game as The Civil War. Because it’s offensive. Or something. SOMEHOW.
The University of Oregon and Oregon State University Departments of Athletics have mutually agreed to no longer refer to Oregon-Oregon State rivalry games as the “Civil War.” This decision is effective immediately and includes all athletic competitions in the 2020-21 academic year and in the years ahead.
The schools made the decision following mutual discussions as well as conversations with university officials and input from current and former student-athletes from both schools.
“Today’s announcement is not only right but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change,” said Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens. “Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War. This mutual decision is in the best interests of both schools, and I would like to thank Scott Barnes for his diligence as we worked through this process. We look forward to our continued and fierce in-state rivalry with Oregon State in all sports.”
“I want to acknowledge and thank the current and former student-athletes who raised concerns about the historic name of the rivalry games played between our two institutions,” UO President Michael H. Schill said. “We need to make this change to align the words and symbols we use around athletic endeavors with our shared campus values of equity and inclusivity. While the name of our annual game might change, it will absolutely continue to be one of the great rivalries in college sports.”
The football series between Oregon State and Oregon continues with the 124th annual game on Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, ranking this rivalry fifth in college football for the most games played in the series. The Oregon-Oregon State series holds the collegiate record for the most men’s basketball games played with 354.
Games in other sports between the two colleges eventually began using the moniker Civil War as well.
Former Ducks quarterback and NFL player Dennis Dixon made this virtue signaling video that…. attempts to explain how this happened? But doesn’t really.
As a player, he led us into a national championship race. Now, he’s a leading voice for change regarding today’s announcement.
Here’s Dennis Dixon on how the conversation took shape: pic.twitter.com/5eq6T7FErm
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) June 26, 2020
Former Beavers players also weighed in:
When I decided to attend school at @OregonState, it wasn’t only for football. It was also to be able to grow into a well educated young man. I wanted to a have a voice and understood the importance of being ”at the table”. I’m honored to be apart of the conversation. https://t.co/T8Pteetwpw
— Steven Jackson (@sj39) June 26, 2020
Members of OSU community,I am writing to share that Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have agreed that effective immediately the term “Civil War” will no longer be used to promote any athletic competition between the universities.As you likely know, “Civil War” has been used for football and basketball games — and other sports competition — between OSU and UO since the phrase was first referenced in the 1930’s.Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery. While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history.In recent years, some students, faculty, alumni, student-athletes, OSU stakeholders and community members have questioned the appropriateness of this term. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter.President-elect King Alexander and I are in full agreement with this decision. So is UO President Mike Schill, OSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes, and UO Athletics Director Rob Mullens, as well as numerous current and past student-athletes from both universities.In the months ahead, OSU and the University of Oregon will engage collaboratively to involve their respective students, faculty, staff, student-athletes, alumni, donors, community partners and athletics sponsors to consider other, more appropriate names, if any, to call the athletics rivalry between our two great universities.I encourage your support and engagement in this naming transition, as we work to identify other areas where our references, practices and norms do not represent our values of diversity and inclusivity.Sincerely,Edward J. RayPresident
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