A former Harvard University philosophy professor and mountaineer who referred to Jews as “kikes” has had his name removed from a mountaineering award named in his honour.
Since his death in 1983, Robert L. M. Underhill had been honoured by the American Alpine Club (AAC), which gave out the annual Robert and Miriam Underhill Award in his memory.
However, following a complaint to the AAC’s Chief Executive filed by a Jewish climber, Brad Rassler, the AAC has decided to change the name of the award after being made aware of Underhill’s history of inflammatory comments about Jews.
In one letter, Underhill told a friend that Jews were “kikes” who did not possess the physical and mental strength needed for mountaineering, and that they were trying to “invade” what should otherwise be a Jew-free sport.
Though the AAC does not question Underhill’s climbing abilities, which included first ascents in both Europe and the Americas, the AAC has announced that it is no longer appropriate to name the award after him.
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to act against instances of anti-Jewish racism in all sports.