Kentucky faculty group asks for Rupp Arena to be renamed

The name of one of the most iconic venues in college basketball is facing a challenge.The faculty of the University of Kentucky’s African-American and Africana Studies Department issued a call for change at the Lexington, Ky., school on Thursday, and among the 10 items requested is renaming Rupp Arena.The group wrote in its letter to university president Eli Capilouto, “The Adolph Rupp name has come to stand for racism and exclusion in UK athletics and alienates Black students, fans, and attendees. The rebuilding of the arena and the convention center offer an opportunity to change the name to a far more inclusive one, such as Wildcat Arena.”In addition, the University should survey all campus buildings and remove all names of enslavers, Confederate sympathizers (such as William C.P. Breckinridge), and other white supremacists.”Other requests in the letter included increasing the amount of Black faculty members, appointing more Black faculty members to leadership positions, and requiring undergraduates to take a course on race and inequality.The university replied in a statement, “The faculty and students who have expressed these concerns are deeply valued members of our community. We thank them for their continued passion and commitment to advancing equity at UK. Senior officials have been meeting and corresponding with them to address their specific concerns, which speak forcefully to the systemic and institutional racism that we must thoughtfully and urgently address as a campus.”