Iowa Reportedly Plans to Name Field at Kinnick Stadium After Duke Slater

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

Iowa plays Penn State during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Kinnick Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. Penn State won 17-12. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)
AP Photo/Matthew Putney

The University of Iowa is planning to name its football field after former All-American tackle Duke Slater, according to the Associated Press' Ryan J. Foley.

Foley explained that university President Willard Boyd first broached the idea of naming the football stadium after Slater and Nile Kinnick together, the latter of whom was the 1939 Heisman Trophy. Instead, Iowa chose to put Slater's name on a residence hall.

A sign of the adversity he faced during his time there, Foley also noted Slater wouldn't have been able to reside at Slater Residence Hall due to the university's policies.

In 2019, the school also honored Slater and the rest of the 1921 national championship squad with a sculpture outside Kinnick Stadium.

Upon making the transition to the NFL, Slater became the first Black lineman in league history. He had a 10-year career that culminated in his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the centennial class in 2020.

The decision to name the football field after Slater comes as Iowa is facing a civil lawsuit from a group of former players who alleged they were victims of racial discrimination.

On social media, players had come forward and said strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle had made racially insensitive comments during their time with the program.

The school solicited the services of Husch Blackwell for an independent investigation. The law firm found that Iowa's atmosphere "perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity."