University of Texas won’t Drop Song with Racist History as Players Requested

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tags: racism, sports, Texas, labor, football

The University of Texas at Austin said it would rename a building named for a racist professor, erect a statue of the school’s first Black football player and commission a monument to its first Black undergraduates. What’s not changing? “The Eyes of Texas,” a campus anthem with minstrel roots that student-athletes want abolished.

Athletes at the university had called on campus officials to find a song “without racist undertones” in place of the anthem, which has lyrics that were in part inspired by the words of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general.

“‘The Eyes of Texas,' in its current form, will continue to be our alma mater,” Jay Hartzell, interim president of the university, said in a statement Monday.

“It is my belief that we can effectively reclaim and redefine what this song stands for by first owning and acknowledging its history in a way that is open and transparent,” he continued. “Together, we have the power to define what the Eyes of Texas expect of us, what they demand of us, and what standard they hold us to now.”

Replacing the song was among a long list of requests made by the athletes, who said that if their demands were not met, they would no longer help the university recruit players or participate in donor events.

Read entire article at Baltimore Sun

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