Clemson Renaming Buildings After Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins Back Petition

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans look on prior to the CFP National Championship between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Clemson University Board of Trustees voted Friday to remove the name of slave owner John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States, from its honors college after concerns were raised by former Tigers football players Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. 

Matt Connolly of The State reported Calhoun Honors College will be renamed Clemson University Honors College. Board chairman E. Smyth McKissick commented on the decision:

“Board members have felt and feel that it is important to address this matter now rather than wait until July due to the recent events happening across our country. No one can watch what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis and not be outraged. That terrible death and other incidents across our country reinforced that we all still have work to do, and that includes Clemson.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, was killed while in Minneapolis Police custody May 25. It has sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

According to TMZ Sports, Clemson will also rename Tillman Hall, named after former South Carolina Governor Benjamin Tillman, “who openly mocked black people and defended lynching.”

Watson and Hopkins posted on social media calling for the changes on Tuesday, with the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver saying Calhoun’s continued presence on school buildings was why he didn’t mention the school in his pregame introductions.

“I felt this oppressive figure during my time at Clemson and purposely do not mention the University’s name before NFL games because of it,” he wrote on Instagram.

Watson and Hopkins spent the past three seasons as teammates with the Houston Texans before the receiver’s March trade to Arizona.

Current Clemson players Trevor Lawrence and Darien Rencher are scheduled to speak during an on-campus demonstration Saturday night.

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