Arizona Cardinals’ superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson, who both played at Clemson, are petitioning the school to remove the name of John C. Calhoun from the university’s honors college, according to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
Hopkins said that the slave owner’s influence is the reason he does not mention the university’s name with he is formally introduced before NFL games.
Calhoun served as vice president under John Quincy Adams from 1825 to 1829, and advocated for slavery stating that it was “a positive good.”
The school campus is built on Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation, where he enslaved 70-80 African Americans, according to his bio on the school website.
“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 said in a post on his official Instagram page. “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.”
Hopkins also pointed to an online petition:
“Now is the time for change. Please help us by signing and sharing this petition here: tinyurl.com/calhounpetition”