The Internet had a problem with a school's 'Roger T. White – Pride Fitness Room'


A school district in western Wisconsin is changing the new name of their revamped gym after it led to an online uproar – and accusations of racism.

The gym at Meyer Middle School, which is in River Falls, was recently renamed the "Roger T. White - Pride Fitness Room as Presented by RCU," in honor of two donors who had contributed money to replace 20-year-old exercise equipment – the family of Mr. White (a deceased community member who'd graduated from the school district) and the Royal Credit Union.

As you can probably imagine, folks on the Internet did not take kindly to the "White - Pride" portion of the title. And according to EAG News, "Facebook hecklers" ultimately convinced the River Falls School District to change it to – well, something a little better.

According to a Facebook update the district posted on Thursday, they're "revising the name immediately" to the "Roger T. White Wildcat Fitness Room," or, alternately, the "Roger T. White - Fitness Room as Presented by RCU."

The district also emphatically dispelled any notions that the previous name – which was decided upon by the school board – was motivated by white supremacy, saying, "Any suggestion of racism, discrimination, or cultural insensitivity in the fitness room's title was wholly inadvertant. (sic)"

They acknowledged why the name was so poorly received, however, writing: "We can see and understand how the new name ... could be viewed by some people as implying 'White Pride.'"

Before the Internet backlash and before the name was withdrawn, Chuck Eaton, a local principal and a member of the committee who helped raise funds for the new and improved gym, told the River Falls Journal he was "thrilled" with the name, and according to the paper, predicted it would "likely be shortened to the White Pride Fitness Room," which he says is "attached to a good role model for the kids who use the room."

As EAG News points out, the situation sparked a debate among Facebook commenters, with some saying the district had gone too far, and others complaining that removing the name was a politically correct overreaction.

Some social media comments below show the surprise and skepticism with which users reacted to the story:

Next Up

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.

3M Open, Tony Finau

Multiple injuries after pickup crashes into shuttle bus at 3M Open

Blaine police listed 25 people as being involved in the collision.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Teen arrested in connection to recent St. Cloud shootings

The shootings, which occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday, did not result in injury or property damage.


Target selling T-shirts to support gay pride

The Minneapolis-based discount retailer has launched an online charitable partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Family Equality Council. Target says the partnership is unrelated to the 2010 political donation given to a group that supported Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who openly opposed gay marriage.

'White Pride' website publicizes rally in Duluth to protest 'Un-Fair' campaign

Members of say there will be a rally in Duluth on the morning of March 3rd to protest a controversial advertising campaign meant to draw attention to racial inequalities.

Couple restores 1-room school house

A passion for history led Audrey and Jerry Majerus to restore a 110-year-old one-room school house on their rural property near Fort Ripley, Minn., complete with period school desks and a bell outside the entrance.

Duluth activists plan to actively ignore 'white pride' rally

A group called the Supreme White Alliance is planning a rally in Duluth to protest an ad campaign with the slogan "It’s hard to see racism when you’re white." Activists on the other side are encouraging people to stay away and not engage with a group that they say is seeking attention and trying to recruit new members.