SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 18: Former professional basketball player Karl Malone gestures during the 2023 NBA All Star Starry 3-Point Contest at Vivint Arena on February 18, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Louisiana Tech honored basketball star Karl Malone alongside other legendary athletes such as Fred Dean, Teresa Weatherspoon, Kim Mulkey, Terry Bradshaw, and Willie Roaf. These athletes were all immortalized in bronze, but as the Louisiana Illuminator reported, honoring Malone has not come without controversy.
This has not stopped Malone’s past from coming up whenever he is honored, and the fact that multiple college institutions are simultaneously facing fallout from sexual violence has not helped. Louisiana Tech’s history professor Drew McKevitt called into question the message that the university was sending with its honoring of Malone, telling the Illuminator, “I wonder what message the university believes it sends to our students when it installs a statue on our campus of a wealthy and famous man who sexually abused a minor when he was a star athlete.”
Louisiana Tech’s administration offered several examples of its employees trying their best to keep the topic on sports as when Eric Wood, Louisiana Tech’s athletic director, and Jim Henderson, the president of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Louisiana Tech, offered their insight.
Henderson, for example, said, “The university is recognizing former student-athletes who have been inducted into the highest professional halls of fame.”
This is a tone structurally very similar to Malone’s stated desire to leave his past behind him, even if it will always follow him.
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Source: Black Enterprise