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Oregon and Oregon State, referred to as the Civil War for 90 years, have agreed to stop calling the rivalry between the two schools as…the Civil War. The two schools, separated by about 45 miles, agreed to “drop the name as it has a connection to a war fought to preserve slavery,” according to a statement put out by Oregon State president Edward J. Ray.
He added: “Changing this name is overdue.”. “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. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake.”
Now the schools will get down to the business of figuring out what to call the series that has been played 123 times.
Oregon leads the series 78-44–1.
We appreciate our alumni and current student-athletes for reaching out to share their perspective, and they have been heard. We can face off against Oregon State without calling it a “Civil War.” #GoDucks https://t.co/j818rubqhg
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) June 26, 2020
Oregon & Oregon State have banned the term “Civil War,” to refer to their sports rivalry because of the connection to slavery. This is not satire, this is a real decision.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 26, 2020
Here’s Oregon State president Edward J. Ray’s full statement:
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.
Edward J. Ray