DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson Want ‘Slave Owner’ Name Removed from Clemson Honors College

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Hopkins even insists that he is so ashamed of the school’s connection to Calhoun that he refuses to identify as a Clemson graduate.

“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,” Hopkins wrote in an Instagram post. “I am joining the voices of the students and faculty who have restarted this petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College. I urge all Clemson students, football players, and alumni to join us, so the next generation of young Black leaders can be proud of the institution they graduate from. Now is the time for change.”

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As we watch everything happening in the world, I want to bring up something that has been bothering me for a long time in my community. Clemson University still honors the name of well known slave owner and pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun on its buildings, signs, and in the name of its honors program. 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. I am joining the voices of the students and faculty who have restarted this petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College. I urge all Clemson students, football players, and alumni to join us, so the next generation of young Black leaders can be proud of the institution they graduate from. Now is the time for change. Please help us by signing and sharing this petition here: tinyurl.com/calhounpetition

For his part, Watson tweeted, “Clemson University should not honor slave owner John C. Calhoun in any way.”

Both players are supporting a petition demanding that the school cleanse itself of its connection to the antebellum slavery proponent.

“Clemson University President James P. Clements recently stated that Clemson will not tolerate racism ‘in any form,'” the petition reads.

The school was built on Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation upon which his 80 slaves worked.

John C. Calhoun was a staunch voice in support of slavery before the Civil War. He was a powerhouse player on the national political scene for decades and even served as Vice President under John Quincy Adams from 1825 to 1829 and then Andrew Jackson from 1829 to 1832, one of only two men to serve as number two for two presidents.

Calhoun served in South Carolina’s Provincial Congress during the Revolutionary War, then served in the state legislature. Later, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives before stepping down to become President James Monroe’s Secretary of War. Next came his years as vice president, but after leaving office, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served there until he died in 1850. Calhoun also served a one-year stint as President John Tyler’s Secretary of State when Abel P. Upshur was killed during an accident while in office.

Calhoun was considered one of the triad of the most powerful and consequential U.S. Senators of his day. The other members of the “The Great Triumvirate” were Kentucky Senator Henry Clay and Massachusetts Senator Danial Webster.

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