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Keion Brooks says he supports changing the name of Rupp Arena

Calipari defends Brook’s comments, says he plans to educate them on Adolph Rupp in the future
Kentucky's Keion Brooks Jr. (12) shoots between Louisville's Dwayne Sutton (24) and Steven...
Kentucky's Keion Brooks Jr. (12) shoots between Louisville's Dwayne Sutton (24) and Steven Enoch during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 9:11 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In a Zoom interview on Friday, Kentucky forward Keion Brooks Jr. said he would be in support of changing the name of Rupp Arena.

“Being honest, I haven’t educated myself well enough on Adolph Rupp or just the whole situation at hand to really give you my thoughts on it,” said Brooks, who is also a member of the SEC Council on Racial Equality and Social Justice. “From what I do know, I would like to see a name change just basically because of what his name is and what that’s connected to and what that kind of represents. I would like to see a name change.”

The question was asked to Brooks after a group of Unversity of Kentucky faculty members in the school’s African American and Africana Studies department requested that Rupp’s name be removed from the arena because they believe Adolph Rupp showed a history of racism.

The comment by Brooks was not received well be some Kentucky fans and on Friday evening his head coach John Calipari came to his defense through a series of Tweets.

“I know some of you are upset with Kieon’s comments regarding Rupp Arena,” said Calipari. “Let me tell you he’s a very smart person and a very conscientious young man. However you feel about what he said, my hope is you show him the respect that all of our/your players deserve.”

Calipari went onto say that he intends to educate Brooks and the rest of his teammates on the matter.

“My job is to make sure all of our players are educated on all that goes along with Coach Rupp’s name and we are going to walk through that,” said Calipari. “My plan is to get former players on a Zoom with our current guys so they can ask those players directly about Coach Rupp. My focus has been on everything going forward, which is why we hadn’t addressed it. As I’ve said before, give these players the benefit of the doubt. If you’re unhappy w/anything, be unhappy with me, not a 19-year-old who is walking through these difficult times. I love you all.”

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