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Report: Iowa to name football field after Duke Slater

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Duke Slater SPORTSPLUS Harold Norman/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Iowa football program plans to officially name the field housed by Kinnick Stadium in commemoration of former football star Duke Slater, per reports from the AP.

The move comes a month before Slater’s induction into the pro football hall of fame, and after a reckoning on race and inequality confronted the Iowa locker room in the summer of 2020. Slater was the first black player to become an all-American at Iowa, and was the only African American to play in the NFL for two of the 10 years he spent in the league.

He was a three-time all conference lineman with Iowa, and a seven-time all-pro. Slater’s impact goes well beyond the football field, as he earned a law degree from Iowa while competing in the NFL. He became the second black judge in Chicago, getting elected to serve on the Cook County Municipal Court in 1948. He became the first African-American to serve on the Cook County Superior Court 12 years later.

On the Iowa campus, Slater Hall memorializes the man. In 2019, a bust featuring Slater was emblazoned on the exterior of Kinnick Stadium. And soon, the field there will carry his namesake.

The AP reports Iowa regents are to hold a meeting about a “facility naming” next week. The move is long overdue.