Through a joint statement shared by ESPN’s Andrea Adelson and released on Friday, Oregon and Oregon State officially dropped the “Civil War” nickname for sporting events between the two rival schools.
Oregon State president Ed Ray said:
“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. 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.”
Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens announced:
“Today’s announcement is not only right but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change. Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War. This mutual decision is in the best interests of both schools, and I would like to thank Scott Barnes for his diligence as we worked through this process. We look forward to our continued and fierce in-state rivalry with Oregon State in all sports.”
Dixon, who earned two Super Bowl rings during his pro career, spoke on the matter in a video shared on social media: