On Thursday, it was reported that members of the University of Kentucky African American and Africana Studies programs are calling for a new name for Rupp Arena.
Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal broke the news and noted the faculty made the request in order to improve race relations on campus.
“The Adolph Rupp name has come to stand for racism and exclusion in UK athletics and alienates Black students, fans, and attendees,” the faculty wrote in a letter to school president Eli Capilouto.
Here is how people reacted to the news on Twitter:
The Rupp Arena debate was inevitable— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 23, 2020
The only question will be how much traction it gets and pressure Calipari has to respond
The reality is (at least in my view) that Calipari’s position will end up being the final result. If he wants it changed, it will be and vice versa
Have lived most of my life in Virginia and Kentucky. If Lee statue can be removed in Richmond, no reason to think Rupp Arena name can't be changed. Before we go there, though, I'd like to see hard evidence that change is warranted. If Rupp was a racist. let's see the proof.— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) July 23, 2020
I am sincerely interested in seeing how Calipari handles the request to change Rupp Arena’s name. I think he cares about this sort of thing. And he has shown he typically doesn’t care what traditionalists think.— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) July 23, 2020
Take the confederate stuff down those people fought a war to own people, Adolph Rupp coached basketball, leave the man alone. You have no proof he was a racist. Your argument includes a Disney film.. stop it— Tony Vanetti (@tonyvanetti) July 23, 2020
Not sure how much control UK has over Rupp Arena but we wouldn't be having this conversation if it weren't for "Glory Road" which was a wildly inaccurate movie historically.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) July 23, 2020
Rupp could have been a visionary, but sadly he wasn't. However, that fault isn't enough to cancel him.
I agree. It’s time for a new on-campus arena. https://t.co/dtdmV6KRd5— Maci Morris (@Maci4Mo) July 24, 2020
Those clamoring for Rupp Arena name change on basis he was blatant racist might want to educate themselves on the facts. Not as clear as one might suspect. https://t.co/wlEtuVLZXg— Darrell Bird (@DarrellBird) July 23, 2020
Calls today at UK to rename Rupp Arena. But for an accident of history, Rupp would be recalled as a racial pioneer who integrated the SEC. He signed the first black player in the SEC (in any sport) to a letter of intent. History is a funny thing. pic.twitter.com/hxZyE1cRBk— Shannon Ragland (@JuryReporter) July 23, 2020
Here's what the first AA bball player in the SEC said of Rupp's University of Kentucky. It shouldn't give you butterflies but it buries a false narrative. pic.twitter.com/6SQuCsRQyC— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) July 23, 2020
It’ll be interesting to see how the University of Kentucky responds to this request to rename Rupp Arena. https://t.co/y8E7VgEEWr— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 23, 2020
It’s possible Adolph Rupp was a decent guy who’s been misunderstood by a lot of people, but man oh man does it require a lot of that benefit of the doubt @bomani_jones has talked about. You’ve gotta be *really* generous to him to go with the “man of his time” defense there— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) July 23, 2020
Accurately judging someone on their true feelings, beliefs, morals and convictions without knowing them personally & spending time with them is almost impossible.— CAMERON MILLS (@CameronMillz) July 23, 2020
I don’t know if Rupp was racist. Never met him.
But below are some insights. #bbn https://t.co/v6K4MWOJoW
To say that is to, in a way, say that those kids weren't experiencing racism in their hometowns, on courts they visited in high school. Yea, I'm guessing the SEC would have been unkind, but that was always going to be the case. It's a paper-thin excuse that only serves a myth.— Josh Moore (@JoshMooreHL) July 23, 2020
If he was truly concerned about putting kids in those situations night after night, and allowed that to stop him from recruiting them, then Adolph Rupp was not a true leader. He might have been a lion on the sidelines, but if that's the truth, then he was a coward away from them.— Josh Moore (@JoshMooreHL) July 23, 2020
Building a new on-campus arena would not only allow MBB to use it, but could also be used by WBB, VB, and gymnastics.— Maci Morris (@Maci4Mo) July 24, 2020
I am not getting into a fight about the name of Rupp Arena. I understand the position of both sides and I think both are genuine in their beliefs. It is what it is— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 23, 2020
I hate that this will divide the Fanbase and make good people scream at each other. That really make me sad
Needless to say, this is a very sensitive subject that’s drawing out some passionate responses from fans and media alike.
Do you agree or disagree that Rupp Arena should be renamed? Let us know in the comments section.