Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

Nationwide protests have raged on against police brutality and systematic racial injustice in the United States in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody. 

Among those speaking out has been the Oregon Ducks football team. 

Mario Cristobal attended a Black Lives Matter rally on Sunday. Multiple players spoke out against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees saying he will never think kneeling during the national anthem is right. Many other players have been using social media to communicate and aid the movement, including Jevon Holland.

The Ducks safety took to Twitter and criticized the University of Oregon, who released a statement "speaking out against hatred, racism and violence" while having an academic hall (Deady Hall) named after a Matthew Deady, President of the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857. 

Deady had the university's first building named after him and was given the position of President of the UO Board of Regents in 1873.

He also was in favor of slavery in Oregon and was quoted saying Black people are just as much property as “horses, cattle and land.”

After gaining some traction on Twitter, Holland posted the same message on his Instagram which has 19.1k followers.

Now two days later, the Daily Emerald reports that University of Oregon board of trustees member Andrew Colas requested an emergency vote in the next two weeks to rename Deady Hall during Thursday's meeting due to the nationwide protests condemning police brutality and racism. 

 

Colas is the only black man on Oregon's board of trustees. 

“It’s hard being the only Black person on a board,” he told the Daily Emerald. “I’m always that person and I push as much as I can, but it really gets hard. And I hope every one of you — every single one of you — will align with me in understanding that we have to be the university that takes a stand on this, and we have to be the first.”

Responding to the report, Holland approved saying "I LOVE IT!" 

This isn't the first time the University has considered changing the name of Deady Hall.

In 2017, unanimously the board voted to change Dunn Hall, named after a KKK member who was a classics professor at the UO, to Unthank Hall, named after DeNorval Unthank Jr., the first Black student to graduate from the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.  

However, President Michael Shill decided to not rename Deady Hall.

“In my view, the facts set forth in the historian’s report do not support overturning the presumption of renaming Deady Hall,” Schill said in 2017 per the Daily Emerald. 

Now three years later, renaming Deady Hall has found newfound momentum, along with many other forms of reform. 

Holland, along with his teammates and many in the Oregon Ducks community will continue to fight racial injustice in the United States.

After the video of George Floyd's death went viral, the lack of charges brought upon police officer Derek Chauvin, nor the other three officers, by the Minneapolis Police Department sparked nationwide outrage leading to national protests and riots against police brutality and public pressure to arrest the four officers. 

Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. An additional second-degree murder charge was added Wednesday, too. As well as the other three officers being arrested and charged with aiding and abetting murder Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday.