Citing racist past, Michigan considering removing Fielding Yost’s name from hockey arena


Yost Area has been house to the Michigan hockey workforce since 1973 (picture: Michigan Athletics).

A committee commissioned by the College of Michigan has really useful that the varsity take away Fielding H. Yost’s title from its hockey enviornment, citing a historical past of racial points involving the previous soccer coach and athletic director who labored on the college from 1901 to 1941.

In keeping with revealed experiences, an eight-person panel of college historians not too long ago made the unanimous preliminary suggestion after a year-long overview of Yost.

The varsity mentioned the committee began trying into Yost after it acquired requests in 2020 to overview the title on the house rink of the Wolverines.

“Even at the moment, Yost’s racist beliefs had been recognized; Yost’s racist insurance policies had been enacted,” reads one request, revealed within the committee’s ultimate six-page report. “In naming the Area Home after Yost, the College selected to put one man’s contributions to soccer and to athletics above the profoundly deep and damaging affect he had on folks of colour.”


The report additionally talked about Yost’s “file of upholding the ‘gentleman’s settlement’” to assist draw a colour line with soccer at Michigan,” pointing to only one black athlete (Willis Ward) who lettered in soccer at Michigan from 1901 to 1932. Ward, of Detroit, was later held out of a recreation by Yost in 1934 following a protest from Georgia Tech, a college that was reportedly reluctant to play Michigan with a black participant on the sphere.

“Whereas we acknowledge that Yost had each successes and failures in his profession, our historic evaluation suggests to us that the benching of Ward was not an aberration however moderately epitomized an extended sequence of actions that labored towards the combination of sports activities on campus,” the committee’s report reads. “When the Regents declared in 1870 that the College was open to ‘any one that possesses the requisite literary and ethical {qualifications},’ they meant to take away all obstacles to admission based mostly on non-academic background components and so set a really excessive aspiration for the establishment.

“The College has not at all times met this aspiration, however in our time, it has firmly and decisively rejected in precept the racist worth system of Yost’s time. A part of this rejection should embrace historic reckoning. That is arduous and controversial work. However with out this reckoning the trail ahead is obscured.”

Michigan is looking for public suggestions now by way of June 7.


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