Former Phoenix Suns guard and University of Kentucky legend Rex Chapman has requested his Hall of Fame plaque be removed from Freedom Hall in Louisville after learning the venue hosted a gun show last weekend where KKK and Nazi memorabilia was available for sale.
The Kentucky Expo Center issued a statement confirming sale of items connected with racist ideologies were present at the National Gun Day exhibit on Saturday. This includes authentic Nazi Christmas ornaments, Ku Klux Klan robes, Gestapo uniforms and swastika shirts.
Chapman made his demand on Twitter.
Hi @KyVenues -— Rex Chapman (@rex_rexchapman) October 30, 2018
My KY HOF plaque hangs in Freedom Hall commemorating induction in 2011.
If you guys can’t guarantee Nazi clothing & paraphernalia won’t be sold/glamorized on the premises then I would ask that my plaque be removed from the facility. I want no part of hate. Thanks.
Fellow Wildcat Mike Pratt, who played at UK from 1967-70 and is now a radio analyst for Kentucky games, echoed Chapman’s sentiments.
I am with you Rex they can remove mine also...No room for hate in my world✌️— Mike Pratt (@MikePratt22) October 30, 2018
Kentucky Venues responded that they would be reevaluating their policies pertaining to the sale such items at their next board meeting on November 15th.
Hi Rex, here is our statement. We understand your concerns. pic.twitter.com/bHJNiknGDY— Kentucky Venues (@KyVenues) October 30, 2018
Cody Patterson, a spokesperson for Kentucky Venues, stated on Tuesday that his organization is only permitted to screen items for the Kentucky State Fair, the National Farm Machinery Show, and the North American International Livestock Exposition. Show managers who lease the venue run the other events.
Patterson did not approve of the sale of the items.
“Kentucky Venues finds any items representing racist ideology to be despicable,” Patterson said.
The Kentucky Expo Center is owned by the state government. It is managed by a board chosen by Republican Governor Matt Bevin.