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Bye Bye, Jeff Davis. Hello…Ali? Who Else?

Jefferson Davis

One of the transcendental joys of political recovery is the liberating freedom to speak candidly on controversial subjects, sometimes even to share unpopular opinions.  But when I used this column last November to float the unconventional idea of removing Confederacy President Jefferson Davis’ statue from Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda — and replace it with a likeness of Muhammad Ali — I was taken aback by the publicity that it generated, as well as the level of vitriol I provoked.

And then, in the middle of the head-spinning week that just passed, my outlier opinion became conventional wisdom.

Just days after a Confederate flag-waving murderer united the nation against racism, politicians across the country rushed to rid the public square of all vestiges of Dixie.  (The unprecedented speed of cultural reversal made Friday’s denouement on marriage equality seem tortoise-like in comparison.)  Here in our favorite border state, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell courageously led the charge, demanding a reexamination of Jeff Davis’ prominent Capitol setting. With the conservative vanguard providing cover, nearly every leading state politician of both parties joined the call, and Governor Steve Beshear ordered a review of the Rotunda lineup.  Now, with both gubernatorial nominees and the leaders of both houses of the legislature announcing their support for Davis’ removal, it’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

I’m sticking with my first choice to fill the imminent vacancy.  As I elaborated more elaborately in my original essay, Muhammad Ali was not simply an iconic icon, the greatest sportsman of the 20th century (if not OF ALL TIME), and for decades the world’s most famous citizen. Louisville’s native son was more significantly an outspoken leader for this nation’s most moral modern movement: the deliverance of civil rights to millions of American citizens that Jefferson Davis had fought so desperately to keep enslaved.  It would be the most fitting of substitutions.

Critics of my proposal have focused their ire on Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam.  While I respect that opinion — especially from those who actually served — I strongly disagree with the common characterization Ali’s was an action of cowardice.  Like most well-connected young men of his generation (for example, our previous two Presidents),  Ali could have avoided combat without controversy.  But the devout Muslim and anti-war activist took the path of most resistance, risking his freedom and stalling his brilliant career to advocate his political beliefs and stay true to his faith.  (Contrast that to Jefferson Davis’ “courage” in trying to avoid Union capture by wearing his wife’s dress.  And please, no Caitlyn Jenner comparisons in the comments.)

Alas, after I published my essay, I learned from his family that The Champ’s very faith prohibits his representation in three-dimensional form.  So I’ve modified my request for an Ali statue to instead call for a mural or painting. (If you agree, please sign my recirculated petition.)

But whether or not I get my wish, Davis’ removal will leave statutory space for a new Kentucky hero in marble or granite.  And with the Governor asking for public suggestions (you can leave yours at this state web site), I’d like to suggest a few from the world of Kentucky sports.

I know, I know.  Our state already places far too much emphasis on sporting contests; far too little on the things that really matter.  (Check out this Joel Pett cartoon on point.)  But as I’ve argued and pleaded for months and months in this column, sports does matter: It’s not only a critical part of Kentucky’s fabric, it’s often the only thread that binds our diverse and divided state together.  And several of our sports heroes have transcended their games to impact our culture.

Of course, identifying the right individual to memorialize in stone is challenging.  Here are my thoughts on the usual (and unusual) suspects:

A.B. “Happy” Chandler:  Perhaps the most famous example of Kentucky’s overlapping passions for politics and sports, the former Governor and U.S. Senator served as Major League Baseball’s second Commissioner, with his preeminent accomplishment being the integration the sport through the admission of Jackie Robinson.  While Chandler already boasts a small bust in the back lobby of the Capitol, he arguably has a stronger case for a full statue than his contemporary and rival, former Vice President Alben Barkley, whose likeness currently stands a few feet from Abraham Lincoln and Henry Clay.  Happy, however, the proud “Dixiecrat” who actually brought the Jefferson Davis statue to the Rotunda in 1936, is not the right figure to replace him. Verdict: Not Happy, Not Now.

Adolph Rupp: The very man who established the Commonwealth’s most beloved and quintessential sports team as an iconic institution, Rupp has made a profound influence on our state’s culture.  However, while the caricature of Rupp-as-racist is unfair to the coach whose views and actions were much more nuanced, Rupp’s selection would be the wrong message to send simultaneously as racism’s great symbol is expunged.  Besides, the state’s most popular landmark is already named after him.  Verdict: Probably never.

Tori Murden McClure: In a society that celebrates individual triumph over adversity, there’s no better symbol of the durability of the human will and spirit than the first American (and the first woman) to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the first woman (and the first American) to ski to the South Pole.  Even better, McClure has spent her intervening years in Kentucky as a humanitarian, advocating for homeless women, and now as an educator, serving as President of Louisville’s Spalding University.  Of course, the über-accomplished McClure is likely a bit took young for consideration.  While the current rule requiring a statutory honoree to be dead for 40 years needs to be adjusted, we probably should give McClure a few more decades of impressive accomplishment before enshrining her in Frankfort.  Verdict: Too early.

Steve Cauthen atop Secretariat: Of course, such a pairing would be historically inaccurate: Cauthen rode Affirmed to the Triple Crown in 1978, five years after Big Red set the standard for all thoroughbreds.  But the two Kentucky natives are the only two equine-related athletes to be named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, and they serve as perhaps the two most enduring symbols of the state’s signature industry — a business and way of life that brings the Commonwealth significant glory, prestige and economic benefits. But while Cauthen remains an influential industry leader, Secretariat mostly just ate, lounged and had sex after his retirement.  Verdict:  Too horsy.

A Kentucky Basketball Starting Five for the Ages: Since it would be impossible to pick just one hoopster to represent the sport in the Rotunda, I suggest instead a marble huddle — an all-time starting five that both excelled on the court and contributed to the community.  Best yet, replace Davis with a racially diverse cast — a visual demonstration of basketball’s healing power; as I discussed here, there’s been no greater uniting racial force in the Commonwealth.  I’ll start the discussion with four Kentucky natives, all-stars on the court; civic leaders later: Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Jimmy Dan Conner, Jack “Goose” Givens, and Darryl Griffith. And I’ll throw in the most prolific Kentucky hoops star of all time, now an anti-discrimination advocate, Valerie Still.  Share your choices in the comments section below.   Verdict: Just do it!

===

I’m headed off to Vegas tomorrow to chase a World Series of Poker bracelet (I came close in 2012).  You can follow my exploits on Twitter at @RecoveringPol.  More importantly, if you or someone you know will be playing, tweet at me — I want to interview other wannabes for my next KSR piece.

Article written by Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller, The Recovering Politician (Twitter: @RecoveringPol), writes about the politics of sport and the sport of politics...and sometimes about bourbon. Jonathan has been elected twice as Kentucky's State Treasurer; practices as a crisis management attorney; authored three books on faith, public policy and crisis management; serves as a Contributor to The Daily Beast, played straight man on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; reached the final table of the World Series of Poker; and with his summer camp sweetheart, raised two remarkable twenty-something daughters.

125 Comments for Bye Bye, Jeff Davis. Hello…Ali? Who Else?



  1. Leuther
    8:07 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t quit your day job, Jon…



    • Dee W.
      11:32 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      I actually agree this statue should be removed (“hero, statesmen, patriot” – when he helped to lead rebellion against the United States?), but that’s kind of a silly self photo acting like you are pushing the statue.

      You continue to suggest people who don’t meet the state requirement that statues have to be of people that have been deceased for at least 40 years so that doesn’t really further the discussion…



    • Miller
      1:25 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      He doesn’t have a day job.



    • catdaddyd
      6:46 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      How about a native american, it was their country until the white and black devils came and stole it from them.



  2. Mustafa O'Reilly
    8:12 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Please post this drivel on Funkhouser page



    • catdaddyd
      6:58 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Let’s take all the energy and money wasted on this uselessness and use it to fill in all the potholes that ravage the state.



  3. Cousins Fake Tooth
    8:12 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Stupid.



    • catdaddyd
      6:52 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Just cut the statue ‘s head off and call it the Headless Horseman. Problem solved.



  4. Cousins Fake Tooth
    8:13 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    So want to replace it with someone that left the country to avoid jail time and refuse to fight for the country? No Thanks.



    • Blind Obedience
      8:28 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      No Viet Cong ever called The Champ “n****r”. But I suspect you probably have.



    • blubo
      8:53 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      i remember watching him fight on tv, sitting in the dayroom of my barracks in the mid-sixties, drinking beer with my buddies, and though he was a great fighter who i really enjoyed watching—i thought “how come i have to be here and he doesn’t.” statue in the capitol building? don’t think so.



    • Cousins Fake Tooth
      8:56 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      @Blind Obedience, you sound like a typical leftist. “Oh, you don’t agree with something someone of color did, well, its because you are a racist”.



    • Blind Obedience
      10:29 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      No, I get it–Kentucky is a big military state. Those who served in Vietnam (or have parents who served, etc) would prefer to think it wasn’t all for nothing, that they were serving their country doing their patriotic duty, and that the lives lost were not in vain. That’s understandable. Unfortunately that war was complete BS. Everyone knows that….now. Ali knew it, and unlike many Kentuckians he was in a position to be able to refuse. Be envious of him if you like, but don’t pretend that he shirked a great responsibility to his country to go kill Vietnamese kids.



    • catdaddyd
      6:50 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      My cousin was in the Viet Cong, and he to call The Champ a n****r all the time.



  5. cris
    8:14 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Miller the moron strikes again



    • Miller
      1:24 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Kudos!



  6. Mike Asher
    8:15 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I like Happy Chandler, he integrated baseball as its commissioner. Muhammed Ali- no way for the reasons the previous commented provided.



  7. whodat
    8:17 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    While you are it tear down the Jeff Davis state park monument in Todd County. Then we can get onto the really important work of taking the wrecking ball to the Jefferson Memorial in DC. Keep on pushing Left…. keep on.



    • whodat
      9:04 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Just in case another UL fan misconstrues… I am well aware that the Jeffferson Memorial in DC is in honor of Thomas and not Davis. SMH



  8. keith
    8:31 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I feel your pain jonathon, cashed in MANY events in my life, never got a bracelet though



    • Miller
      1:24 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Seriously? Are you guys going to pleasure each other now or what? LOL



  9. Matt H Jones
    8:36 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I apologize for this post. Most of you know that politically I am to the left of Trotsky, but I as long as I talk UK sports and bash UL, IU, and Duke you listen. I did not authorize C. M. to publish this nonsense and it will never happen again.

    UL sucks. Go Cata



  10. History is hard
    8:46 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    The Jefferson memorial in DC is Thomas Jefferson, not Jefferson Davis. I can see how the two could be easily confused.



    • RVCAT
      8:55 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Whodat wasn’t mistaken. A CNN anchor raised the question of whether the Jefferson Memorial should be taken down because he was a slave owner.



    • whodat
      9:01 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      ^ LOL it sure as hell is isn’t it?



    • Apparently Harder Than You Think
      9:01 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      I don’t think those were white folks working the Monticello fields.



    • whodat
      7:58 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Lincoln: stated he would keep slavery if it would preserve the Union
      Wilson: publicly justified the existence of the KKK
      FDR: Failed to integrate the US Armed Forces
      Truman: spoke out against interracial marriage while in office
      JFK: refused to allow a black entertainer perform at the White House bc he was dating a white woman.

      Let all of their names be stricken from every monument and obelisk



  11. TX Cat Fan
    8:48 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Born and raised in KY. College at Transy. I’ve never understood the fascination with Davis. Glad his dorm is out at Transy. Hope his statue is out of Frankfort.

    I do not understand those posting here who seem to think it is ok to honor symbols of the confederacy.



  12. Gary Rawlings
    8:50 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Matt, go screw yourself. Spouting your liberal agenda is going to ruin a good sports website. I certainly will not visit you or your half-assed web app again. You, sir, are a moron.



    • Matt Jones
      10:02 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Mission: Accomplished



  13. NoMorePolitics
    8:53 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I come here for KY BASKETBALL information, IF I wanted to see someone’s politics opinion’s I would be on Fox, CNN, or one of the many other websites that cater to that agenda. That’s really all I have to say besides how dumbfounded I am at how shallow many are to think that a statue of Jefferson Davis had anything to with the 9 folks that where killed in South Carolina. What next, you wanna remove the Civil War from history books and pretend it never happened? I don’t fly or own a Confederate battle flag, but am of the opinion that while some associate it with hate, NOT all do and this is still America and believe that people have every right to. For some it is simply a symbol of southern pride and the traditions that they and there forefathers were raised with and fought to protect. So if the next “mass murderer” holds an American flag, are you gonna call for its removal? This is a sports blog and I hope this is the last of this kind of political posturing that I see on it.



    • No More Politics?
      9:13 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      So all you have to say other than the fact that you come here for UK sports information and that if you wanted to read about politics you’d look elsewhere is a bunch of political stuff? Since I can only assume you also don’t come here for the definitions of words may I suggest you look up irony in your free time?



    • Flat Earth
      10:33 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      No one gives a **** what you come here for, the world doesn’t revolve around you.



    • lol
      2:21 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      lol



  14. Nate
    8:59 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    This is funny being that I reviewed the poll results from a local newspaper over removing the statue and the majority of the people said not to take it down does the politicians even care about popular opinion.



  15. The Rock
    9:00 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    The Rock has a little plan for the rebel flag of his own, and it’s called the KY Jelly plan!
    Which means The Rock is gonna lube the Confederate flag up real good, turn that sumbitch sideways, and stick it straight up your candy asses!



    • Why Did This Make Me Lol?
      9:09 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      And should I be embarrassed?



  16. Sad
    9:22 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I feel the more we cleanse the past the more we are destined to repeat the mistakes made. Why is this sheite written here. if you want a political blog fine let John Miller write his stupid opinion column there. Come-on man this website doesnt need this crape. BY THE WAY CASSIUS CLAY IS A DRAFT DODGER AND TRADER, NOT SOMEONE TO BE ADMIRED.



    • Tampa satchel
      2:24 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      What did he trade and is it to late to get in on the action?



    • catdaddyd
      6:33 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      He traded his food stamps for drug money.



  17. Smyrna_Cat
    9:25 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Mr. Miller. My father had a saying, “If God had meant you to pat yourself on the back your elbow would turn the other way.”

    Your original blurb on this was stupid. This blurb is also stupid, and to pat yourself on the back for suggesting Jeff Davis be removed back in November and then being proud that the rest of the world has caught up with you is just insulting.

    We don’t care about your poker trips. We don’t care about your political believes. Someone MIGHT care if you actually wrote anything about Kentucky basketball.



    • Big Poppa Pump
      11:42 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Smyrna_Cat you complain constantly about Mr. Miller’s writing. Do you not know that he doesn’t read these comments, nor cares what your small minded self has to say? You show your key board warrior self every time you post. I believe you are jealous that Mr. Miller’s arms are bigger than yours.



  18. Smyrna_Cat
    9:27 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Mr. Miller. Please stop writing. I hope we get more intelligent blurbs on this page … like a review of the Bachelorette.



    • Miller
      1:22 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Amen!!!



  19. bosshogg24
    9:28 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Jonathan since Democrats fought for 200 years to keep black people enslaved, they hung them in trees,
    burned them out and formed the KKK, I think they should have Lincoln in the Capitol if anybody!



  20. cat89
    9:30 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Have you lost your mind? Erasing monuments won’t change history. How can we know where we’ve come from if we pretend it never happened. YOU ARE OVER REACTING!! Another example of the logic employed by the “what’s trending now” crowd.



  21. Rise
    9:31 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Didn’t Cassius Clay change his name to Muhammad Ali to avoid serving his country. Sounds like a coward to me. I could care less about the Confederate Flag or legalizing marriage but isn’t it hypocritical to ban the Confederate Flag on government grounds but the white house can be lit up like a rainbow? Sounds like a violation of the first amendment. But it seems like the constitution is pointless now anyway. Next will be the banning of the American Flag because it offends illegal immigrants.



    • So Much Wrong Here
      1:09 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Debating monuments in the Capitol Rotunda is all well and good should we stick to the facts and we seem to be lean on those at the moment. Particularly concerning Muhammad Ali and his refusal to serve in the military. Clay changed his name to Ali upon converting to Islam in 1965. He was drafted in 1967 so the two events are entirely unrelated despite at least one poster’s allusion to the contrary. Ali filed as a conscientious objector for religious reasons. Why he was ever convicted of a crime is the real question. Some might say it was because he was an outspoken, black Muslim. Perhaps not true but the government certainly wasn’t convicting and imprisoning the Amish during this era despite their well known refusal to serve in the military so why the disparity? There is a reason the Supreme Court was unanimous in overturning the conviction. Quite simply lower courts never explained why his status as a conscientious objector was denied. In my opinion the fact that he was indeed a brash, black Muslim was at the least not helpful to his cause. As a Christian myself based on my personal relationship with and understanding of God I too would file as a conscientious objector. Of course this assumes the Pentagon gets so desperate it begins drafting bald, obese, middle aged men with severe arthritis in one foot. That isn’t to say every Christian would or should make the same decision. That is between each individual and his or her God. I make no judgement on what is an intensely personal decision and frankly has nothing to do with me. It is, however, where I fall on the issue. You can call me a draft dodger, a coward or any other pejorative that suits your fancy but it won’t change the real reason I would do so nor would it make me waver in so doing. Ironically it is the brave men and women of the military who fight for any conscientious objector’s right to refuse service based on religious reasons. Should we now diminish their service by denying someone’s right to object for reasons of faith? Are we to completely trample on the first amendment in some misguided attempt to support those tasked with defending said amendment? Cognitive dissonance anyone?



    • Tampa satchel
      4:05 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      So much-Well said! -from a veteran who supports your right to object. Fighting isn’t for everyone and most veterans I know would rather have someone who wants to bethere next to them rather than someone who was forced to be and wasn’t 100% all the way in.



    • So Much Wrong Here
      6:00 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Tampa satchel I’m truly humbled by your comments. God has to give me doses of humility pretty regularly. lol. I’m not sure how to write it clearly but I’ll try. I know many veterans say it was an honor to serve. In my case it’s an honor to have had my rights defended by you. I am eternally grateful.



    • P.S.
      6:03 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      I just realized I misspoke when I said a service member’s decision to serve has nothing to do with me. In reality it has everything to do with me. So again, thank you.



  22. Deuce is loose
    9:44 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    While we’re at it, now is the time to re-name our nation’s capital. George Washington was a well known slave owner, yet our nation’s capital is named after him. No longer should we pay homage to a man who was on the wrong side of slavery. It’s time to finally abolish the name “Washington” from our nation’s capital.



  23. Cat dog
    9:44 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Total overreaction on this confederate flag/Jeff Davis statue issue.
    Most Confederate leaders while misguided had distinguished political and military careers in service of our Nation prior to the war.
    In Lee’s case he set an incredible positive example for the South following the war.
    We should not allow leftist fascists purge US history.
    Talk about a slippery slope.
    Happy Chandler should be in the Capitol, surprised he is not.
    No living person deserves that Honor.
    As far as Ali is concerned his refusal to serve his county and dodge the draft disqualifies him.
    That’s a pretty big negative.



    • Ha!
      10:04 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Hug a Conservative. It’s been a tough week for them. 😉



  24. DesignatedDrinker
    9:48 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Take Davis’s down. Don’t put anybody’s up. That way when the liberals find out the new person who has a statue up, wasn’t perfect, we won’t have a fake useless controversy, to distract us from real problems. Like the horrible economy John’s gun grabbing president has oversaw for 7 years. But let’s focus our energy and worry about people being offended. Look squirrel!!!!



    • DesignatedDrinker
      9:49 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Forgive me, ‘Jon’..



  25. VirginiaCatFan
    10:05 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    As I recall, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and reportedly had sex with a female slave with whom he had a child. Clearly, all things Thomas Jefferson must go. George Washington also owned slaves I believe, so any memorials to him must be eradicated. The Kennedy family’s wealth was based on the sale of liquor during prohibition. Many people died as a result of the illicit liquor trade, so lets get rid of references to the Kennedy brothers. Lets get rid of Fox News, too, since they have the audacity to voice opinions that are offensive to standard leftist ideology. Lets also ensure that conservative speakers, i,e, Condi Rice, are prevented from speaking at universities lest her ideas pollute the delicate minds of the intellectual elite. Perhaps Mr. Miller will consent to chairing a committee that will scour the land for any offensive symbols and dispatch them immediately. I feel better already.



  26. Big Blue Cat
    10:07 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Can wait for a black to go out and kill some white people. (Happens everyday) Then maybe we can take down the Martin Luther King statue in Memphis or rename his holiday.



  27. mikeintn
    10:07 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Miller you have to be close to being one of the stupidious person to breathe, and I am trying to be nice, I really dont have the words, you dont like hearing this, do us all a favor and dont post that CRAP!



    • Ha!
      10:09 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      This. Is the greatest comment. Of all time.



  28. dakota
    10:10 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Please don’t post political stuff I think we all have seen enough of it else were and come here to escape it and enjoy UK news thanks!



    • TEXAS CAT
      10:59 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly.



  29. joe
    10:10 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Why not erect a statue to the states number one cash crop….MARIJUANA



  30. mcp157
    10:11 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    The Civil War was about States’ Rights people, read Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley. Paraphrased he stated that if he could save the Union without freeing the slaves he would. He also championed the idea of creating a country in Africa, Liberia, to ship all the freed slaves back because he did not feel they were the equal to whites and mixing the two races would never work. It is amazing how history gets handled by the winners of all wars. I guess some people really believe Washington cut down a cherry tree as well and could not lie about it.



    • asdf
      8:17 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      The causes of the Civil War were so complicated and varied that it is impossible to say that anything caused it. There were dozens of causes. Slavery was one. States rights was another. Southern pride was another. And Northern animosity against the South. And economic opportunism by arms makers. And international interference hoping to destroy or weaken the still-young United States. And individuals on both sides who saw war as a way to advance their political and military careers. And many more. It all added up to a sense of inevitability that led to war. That’s how history works. It’s rarely one guy sitting down and saying, “I’m going to to this and the result will be that”. Most of the time, history just flows like an ocean tide, and people are just swept along by it.



    • Craig
      2:29 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      The North’s purpose in the war was not the abolition of slavery – though abolitionism was a major cause in the North and the Republican party was founded and organized largely on abolitionism. The South, however, saw the defense of the institution of slavery as their primary purpose in secession. They made this abundantly clear, in their own words, when they published their declarations of secession. I suggest reading them, if you think the South was motivated primarily by issues other than slavery.



    • mcp157
      6:18 am June 30, 2015 Permalink

      Each southern colony, along with several northern colonies, joined the Union only with the agreement that they had the RIGHT to leave the Union at any time if they so chose. Yes, slavery was a huge reason why they chose to leave but so was the bullying they were getting by the Federal government and Northern corporations that ran the Federal government. This building up of Lincoln as this great man is much like a mythology story. Slavery, a true abomination, would have went away on its own. It did not need a war which took more American lives than the Spanish American War, WWI and WWII combined. The Civil War had blowback such as the KKK, John Crow laws and pure resentment of blacks and the North that ultimately would not occurred if slavery could have died peacefully like in all other areas of the world except here. Lincoln was nothing more than a puppet of corporations and a glorified John Brown.



    • mcp157
      12:09 pm June 30, 2015 Permalink

      Make that Jim Crow laws.



  31. wildcatblood
    10:11 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Thought I was coming to a sports website. Keep the politics out of it or you will lose followers quick.



    • KSR Faithful
      10:35 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      You know what I do if I scroll past an article that doesn’t interest me?

      I keep scrolling.



    • DunkHowser
      10:36 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed. He thinks they wont, but the city of Lexington is only so big. That’s his liberal demographic and pretty soon the only ones that will be left. If someone came up with an even remotely good site and station to do with UK sports from a conservative standpoint, KSR would cease to exist.



    • Brian
      10:49 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      I bet you can’t wait until Hillary is President! Hhaahaha!



    • Miller
      1:20 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      And to those who say “just don’t comment” … same to them. Don’t comment.



  32. GRob
    10:13 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    This guy, “Jon”, tries to be a witty and funny leftist and fails. Miserably. Every time.



    • Ha!
      10:21 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      But you came to the site. Clicked on the article. Read it. And then commented on it.



    • KSR Faithful
      10:38 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Removing statue of confederate racist/slavery-proponent = liberal nonsense.

      Just leave if you want to leave. Don’t linger in the comments crying about an article you didn’t have to read in the first place. Just leave and don’t come back!



  33. Doug Slaughter
    10:26 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Slavery is horrible. Most every race of people has been enslaved at some point in history. I am Scotch/Irish and I am sure at some point in my ancestry we were mistreated at best by the English or possibly enslaved. It is horrible and despicable . However you proposing to put a statue up in place of Jefferson Davis with Ali is almost laughable… no it IS Laughable. I like Ali. I am proud that I live in the city that he was born in. However, he boxed! He was a boxer. His fame was hitting people in the face hard enough to knock them out. How does he deserve a Federal Statue? Jefferson Davis may have stood for some incorrigible things, but you cannot deny his place in this countries History. A lot of these guys fought for State Rights. Perhaps they saw what a Government in control would and could do? I am glad Slavery was abolished. I have many African American friends who are some of the finest people I know. Yet even they would think taking down a Jefferson Davis statue and putting up a statue of Ali is one of the most ridiculous things they have ever heard. I love this site for UK sports info.. but you young man might have suggested one of the stupidest things I have ever heard in my life! How about another African American that actually contributed to this country. Ali was a Boxer!!



    • This Guy Gets it
      11:12 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly, and that Jesus guy that everyones always yammering on about was just a carpenter. What’s the big deal?



    • catdaddyd
      6:41 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Comparing Ali to Jesus? Really?



  34. DunkHowser
    10:33 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Will someone please create a UK sports talk site of substance with no political bull shot every day? At least a conservative one like the vast majority of Kentuckians. Does anyone have a link they can send me of any other decent sites where you don’t have to listen to liberal douchebags talk about gays and civil war shot?
    Any link at all that has to do with UK sports and I will start following there and never come back here. I don’t listen to KSR on the radio so it doesn’t need to be that. Just a good website to get news from besides this crap?



    • Ha!
      10:46 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Good luck, and godspeed.



    • Brian
      10:51 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Rough week for the Conservatives. LOL



    • Dude
      10:54 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Why don’t you go create your own, douchebag? Then I can come to it and cry all over the comment section, like you.



    • Dee W.
      11:36 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      there are numerous other Kentucky sports websites besides this one which you can easily find – since you are typing on here you can apparently do a google search.



  35. DoucheHowser
    10:46 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    I’m tracing the IP addresses of all the ignorant commenters here. who will soon be rounded up and banished to Tennessee.



    • Ha!
      10:48 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      Bahahaha. Good luck with that, too.



    • Miller
      1:19 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      So says the guy with the name “DoucheHowser.” Nicely done!



  36. Gut
    10:58 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Does anyone know where we can just go get sports? Please post website here. Catspause? How much is Catspause?



    • Bye
      11:14 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      I hear google.com is popular. Try typing in “sports”.



  37. Jimmy
    11:20 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    i am so tired of the liberals getting there way in this country ! We need to stand up and say no !!! Enough is enough ! Turning this country into France! Liberals want to cry ! Why don’t they go fight the wars then they can make the decisions they want !! But they are to much of c nuts to go fight a war



    • Sincerity
      11:30 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

      I am just dying for the chance to prove myself to you, Mr. Jimmy. Who shall I start a war with?



  38. Eric
    11:21 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Mr. Matt Jones, please remove Mr. Miller from your website. I am sure Mr. Miller is an intelligent man and he doesn’t mean to upset people with his post. However, I come to KSR to get away from the political divide in our country and to help me relax. His post are meant to stir the pot, this just isn’t the place for these types of articles.



    • Miller
      1:18 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      What makes you think my cousin is intelligent? Pretentious, maybe.



  39. Jimmy
    11:21 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Ali ??? That worthless draft dodger ? Might as well take a sh1t and put it there



  40. Zepheadpat
    11:26 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Two points: 1. Ali was himself a racist and misogynist and anyone curious enough to know the truth (JM obviously is not) can find ample video proof on YouTube. 2. Jefferson Davis was not in a dress when captured by Union soldiers. This is a widely repeated myth.

    JM would do well to polish up on the bios of both Ali and Jefferson Davis.



    • Tampa satchel
      4:11 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Besides the suit of men’s clothing worn by Mr. Davis he had on when captured Mrs. Davis’ large waterproof dress or robe, thrown over his own fine gray suit, and a blanket shawl thrown over his head and shoulders. This shawl and robe were finally deposited in the archives of the war department at Washington by order of Secretary Stanton.



  41. Tom Blevins
    11:34 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    So sad that Rupp is still considered a racist by some. He received over 100 death threats for trying to integrate the SEC back in the 50s. He had black players on his high school teams in the 20s. He got Jim Tucker a scholarship to another school because he wasn’t allowed to offer him one to Kentucky.



  42. Bigslap
    11:34 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Kind of like reading the Herald Leader, just look for Tipton or in this case Miller, and skip the article. A shame KSR has lowered itself to H-L status.



  43. Steve
    11:46 pm June 28, 2015 Permalink

    Wow
    Just WOW



  44. Miller
    12:14 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    My name is J. Miller. I am an idiot. I grave attention. It doesn’t have to be good attention, just any kind of attention. I like to pretend that I am smarter than you, when deep down I am extremely insecure and am seeking the type of validation that my mommy wouldn’t give me.

    Please, think I am smarrte. Yep … smarrte.

    Now I am going to go admire my scrawny ass in the mirror.

    S . m .a . r .r . t . e . e . r than u!!



    • Chessplayer1974
      8:40 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Learn to spell smart guy. The word is spelled “crave” not “grave”.



  45. Miller
    12:17 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Did you notice how I pleaded, begged, whined, begged again to say that sports does matter. I actually said, “It’s not only a critical part of Kentucky’s fabric, it’s often the only thread that binds our diverse and divided state together.”

    Then did you notice how I didn’t write about sports at all!!!

    Cause I am SMARTER than u!!!!



  46. Miller
    12:18 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Did anyone notice that I have 17 links to worthless crap in this bloggee thing? My record is 104!!!!

    Check out my web site.

    And yes, I am SMARTER THAN U!



    • Tampa satchel
      4:44 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      I can see why you would have a problem with someone who is smarter than after reading your posts.

      To his credit, at least Mr. Miller stated a cogent argument supporting his point. You, on the other hand, did your best 4th grader immitation. Or maybe that wasn’t an imitation which furthers my point.



  47. TX Cat Fan
    12:25 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Wow, there are some seriously troubled folks commenting on this article. Not a surprise. Knew it would be the case as soon as I saw the post.

    Too bad so many are incapable of 1) genuine discussion and 2) accepting this site for what it is – more than just sports.

    Matt and KSR crew, never succumb to those with so little bandwidth that they would prefer not to be challenged to look at things differently. The vast majority of us readers thoroughly enjoy the diversity of topics and viewpoints.



    • Miller
      1:17 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Is this you, cousin Miller? No one else would be stupid enough to argue the merits of this bloggee thing.

      And accepting this site for what it is … great discussions of sports with this idiotic nonsense just because these amazingly stupid, insecure, egocentric people are willing to write worthless nonsense for free.

      And despite the fact that I no NOT have to pay for this site, I still feel ripped off and I want my money back.

      This is just stupid.



  48. James Taylor
    12:33 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    By the way. Secretariat was not from Kentucky. The great horse Secretariat was foaled in Virginia.



    • Supa D
      5:48 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Wasn’t he born in Maryland?



  49. Willy
    12:47 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    The act of erecting statues for the famous people in Kentucky history is gonna go nowhere…..What’s really needed is Communication between all political parties of Kentucky and the desire to solve all problems and move all Kentuckians forward to the future.



  50. The Stone Wars
    1:27 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Seeing as how we know that every man is deeply flawed it may be time to do away with the deification of man entirely. Just me?



    • Tampa satchel
      4:46 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      Maybe the best comment I have seen. I wish someone would have said that 2000 years ago.



  51. Hermes
    1:37 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Jefferson Davis was what he was. We don’t need to alter history to make folks feel better about themselves. Slavery was immoral and twisted. Jim Crow laws were immoral and twisted. Black drug and rap culture is sick and twisted. We need to focus on American values and goals. We need to focus on the now and not on the past. How many more laws can we pass to attempt to have equality of opportunity? I hope you get crushed at WSP. You are an arrogant little %^*^,, I hate your progressive communist posts Move to NY where you belong.



  52. Clean Up Your Own Rotunda First
    7:52 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    “…the liberating freedom to speak candidly on controversial subjects, sometimes even to share unpopular opinions” sounds dangerously close to “leaving politics allowed me to stop compromising my morals for the mere purpose of retaining power”. One wonders if the author has the credibility to make ethical judgements concerning Jefferson Davis in the first place. I have to remember though that politicians must sacrifice their own values long enough to impose them on the rest of us.



  53. asdf
    8:07 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    George Santayana said, “Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Alexis de Tocqueville said a similar, more eloquent quote: :”When the past not longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”

    This current scrubbing of history is troubling. It smacks of ancient Egypt removing all references to Hatshepsut to hide the fact that they ever had a female pharaoh or of Soviet Russia destroying any traces of their Czarist history. Scrubbing history is not only the product of ignorance and shortsightedness, but it is inherently dishonest because it amounts to lying to future generations.

    Jefferson Davis belongs in the Rotunda because of the parallels between himself and Abe Lincoln. During the Civil War, both countries were led by expatriate Kentuckians, and it is impossible to tell the story of either of them in full context without the other because the course of history inextricably tied them together. But if we are not living in an era where we have to pretend that slavery never existed, then the entire Civil War didn’t exist either, I suppose. Wink wink. Nod nod.



    • asdf
      8:08 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

      EDIT: “now” in place of “not”



  54. arlo
    8:40 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    any news on jai lucas?



  55. Honest AVe
    10:39 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    How does this leftist, political trash get on a page about Kentucky basketball?



  56. Katy
    11:28 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    I suggest Isaac Murphy – a great Kentuckian, African-American and sports hero.



  57. Tim Gray
    11:47 am June 29, 2015 Permalink

    This is just stupid. Like it or not, Jefferson Davis is/was part of American history. And Kentucky’s honoring him is different from other states because Kentucky did not leave the union. While we are at it can we removed the Jefferson Memorial and Washington memorial because them two [email protected]&^@$^& owned slaves. Can have that in our nations capital. Yes, sarcasm. See how stupid it sounds?



  58. James Taylor
    1:20 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Meadow Stud – Doswell,Vriia



    • James Taylor
      1:21 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

      * Virginia



  59. Richman
    7:38 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis are huge historical figures, famous and infamous, and both were born in KY. However, neither lived in KY as adults nor were politicians in KY. You can replace both of their statues because neither represented KY during their life of work and service. I’d like to see Daniel Boone or Richard Johnson or some famous KY who actually lived and served in KY….



  60. Johnny
    8:29 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

    Obviously it should be Colonel Sanders.



  61. mcp157
    8:41 pm June 29, 2015 Permalink

    How about Ashley Judd in her hockey jersey?



  62. BD
    12:38 am June 30, 2015 Permalink

    Surprised that Cliff Hagan or Frank Ramsey didn’t make your All-Kentuckian starting five??? They both are Naismith Hall of Famers!