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Doak Campbell’s grandson disappointed FSU may consider changing stadium name

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A petition to change the name of the Florida State University’s football stadium has collected more than 2,300 signatures.

The petition has also caught the attention of FSU President, John Thrasher.

The petition, created by former Seminole linebacker, Kendrick Scott states: “The stadium at FSU was named after Doak Campbell a former FSU President. While, the tradition has been preserved, in reflection his non inclusive views of blacks as an segregationist is divisive, therefore his name should be removed from a stadium that has been home to many Black football players helping to build the school and the tradition to what it has become today: a national treasure. Therefore, this petition seeks to change the name of the stadium...The Players Field at Bobby Bowden Stadium.”

Doak Campbell Stadium has been home to FSU football for more than 70 years.

Some on the campus say they would welcome the change.

“I feel like it’s a good idea. I feel like it shows unity within the community and it’s a step towards a more progressive future,” said Dominique Rollins.

Others say it is a step in the right direction.

“It’s a name change and its still kind of small as far as impact is going to make because changing the name of the stadium is not going to change somebody’s views or the mindset about matters they feel about personally,” said Jeremy Smith.

But, Doak Campbell III says his grandfather was not a segregationist.

He says his views reflected the politics of the day, as the university reached out to leaders to help it expand.

“The governor, the Board of Control, they weren’t quite there and evidently students started agitating at least becoming very active with the students newspaper and meetings and other things promoting desegregation and my grandfather basically wanted those to stop,” he said. “It wasn’t because he was pro-segregationist but he was concerned about was the destiny of the school again this was a time when huge expansion was going on and they were totally depended on the politicians of the day.”

Campbell III says his grandfather brought football to FSU and his legacy should not come under attack.

“That name, I think, meant something to the destiny to the growth the legacy of all the students who went there and to see it being attacked now it’s a little disconcerting,” said Campbell.

FSU President John Thrasher issued a statement on Twitter Monday.

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