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University of Oregon, Oregon State drop ‘Civil War’ from description of sports rivalry

The Black Lives Matter social change movement took a rather inane turn this week as the University of Oregon and Oregon State University agreed to drop the term “Civil War” as the description of their interstate sports rivalry.

According to GoDucks.com, the decision was made after “conversations with university officials and input from current and former student-athletes from both schools.”

UO Director of Athletics Rob Mullens said “We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War.” He thanked former UO football great Dennis Dixon for bringing up the issue and “being the catalyst for change.”

Oregon State President Edward Ray said in a statement that “changing [‘Civil War’] 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.”

Ray added that “in recent years” some in the OSU community had raised concerns about the term, and noted it was a “mistake” not to make a change earlier.

“We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter,” he said.

The aptly named Michael Schill, OU president, said the change was needed to keep with the “shared campus values of equity and inclusivity.”

Of course, a civil war is “a war between political factions or regions within the same country” (Dictionary.com), and this fits the UO/OSU rivalry perfectly. But we currently live in strange times.

The clock is now is ticking on how soon Marvel Entertainment will make a change to its massive money-making offering Captain America: Civil War.

Read the GoDucks.com article and President Ray’s statement.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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