Iowa Professor to Lead “Million Robot March” To Protest Pink Locker Rooms at Kinnick StadiumBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Kembrew McLeod, a 43-year-old communication studies professor at the University of Iowa, will lead the "Million Robot March" on Friday to protest against the visiting team's pink locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
The March coincides with an annual celebration honoring legendary Iowa football coach Hayden Fry, who ordered the opposing team's locker room to be painted pink in 1979. In his defence, Fry said that pink is a calming color intended to make Hawkeyes' opponents passive. However, in his biography the coach said that pink is an ideal color for little girls' bedrooms and for cowards.
The paint color, however, was not accepted by several opposing coaches. University of Michigan's late coach Bo Schembechler made student managers paste white paper over the walls.
The pink color was not just limited to walls. In a 2005 renovation, the color pink was added across brick walls, shower floors, metal lockers, carpeting, sinks, showers and urinals. McLeod urges the school to choose a different color for the rooms as the pink radiates homophobia and sexism, Fox News reports.
However, many opposing players don't seem to think there is an issue with the pink locker rooms. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner actually labelled it as the best locker room in the conference because of its spaciousness.
Fans have also opposed various efforts to have the color changed by saying that it's a tradition that isn't meant to be discriminate against a gender.
The March which will have protestors dressed as robots hopes to draw attention to the issue as previous protests including a threat of a discrimination lawsuit, haven't changed anything.
The protestors will start the March on top of a hotel parking garage and then walk through FryFest, an annual event that attracts up to 20,000 Hawkeye fans. They will display signs and chant slogans like "Binary code yes! Gender binaries no!" and "Delete the pink locker rooms!"
This is not the first time McLeod is leading a protest to make unheard voices heard. Dubbed "Roboprofessor" McLeod booed Bill Clinton during a 2008 speech in costume. In 2011, dressed as a "gay robot" the professor accused Michele Bachmann, then a Republican presidential candidate, of being a "robophobe" and a "homophobe" during an Iowa City diner.