Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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."

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1269519216395197&id=267155689964893

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Before the Internet backlash and before the name was withdrawn, Chuck Eaton, a local principal and a member of the committee who helped raise funds for the new and improved gym, told the River Falls Journal he was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:

https://twitter.com/TiMthisIS/status/692751713510379520

https://twitter.com/ThePeteBye/status/692789145610096640

https://twitter.com/VTPartnership/status/692747015546077184

https://twitter.com/rpjohnson001/status/692725213717352449

Next Up

u.s. attorney's office

St. Paul man sentenced for 2021 robbery spree

Warren Dean, 27, admitted to robbing seven St. Paul businesses in a span of three days.

FSmfYf0WABgrNhI

Stevens County may have been hit the hardest by Thursday storms

The entire county was without power after the storms blew through Thursday evening.

State Patrol

3 killed, 1 critical after trio of crashes in Minnesota Thursday

One person also faces life-threatening injuries in a crash that happened in Olmsted County.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 1.25.08 PM

Mora woman saves pelican caught in fishing line for days

A birthday fishing trip shapes into a heroic tale.

Kelsey Peterson in the documentary, "Move Me."

Doc depicting MN dancer's journey with paralysis debuts at Twin Cities film festival

The film surrounds St. Paul-born Kelsey Peterson, who continues to pursue her passions in dance after being paralyzed from the chest down in 2012.

Milwaukee Ave

Gallery: Rare opportunity to own a home on historic Milwaukee Avenue

All the houses on the avenue front onto a pedestrian mall in south Minneapolis.

US Secretary of Defense COVID vaccine flickr

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, May 13

The next update will be provided Monday.

storm

Minnesota part of the top 2 hurricane force wind events since 2004

Photo above shows the ominous view in Marshall, Minnesota as a dangerous line of storms approached Thursday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 9.24.48 AM

DFL efforts to pass abortion, reproductive health bills blocked in Senate

The push to pass a slate of abortion and healthcare-related bills comes after a leaked Supreme Court opinion draft indicated Roe v Wade will be overturned.

Related

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 Stormfront.org 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.