Jun 27, 2020 - Sports

University of Oregon and Oregon State to no longer call rivalry "Civil War"

An Oregon state player catches a football during a game while an Oregon Unviersity player tries to tackle them

Photo: Tommy Whitcomb/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Oregon State University and the University of Oregon announced they will no longer colloquially refer to their sports rivalry as a "Civil War."

What they're saying: "Changing the name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery," OSU President Ed Ray said. "...OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter."

Context: The rivalry dates back to 1894 when the two universities' football teams met. The football series between OSU and UO is the fifth-most contested rivalry in the U.S. in the Football Bowl Subdivision with the 124th edition Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

Go deeper