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Dirty Kanza organizers posted a statement on social media on Sunday emphasizing the event’s commitment to inclusion and detailing ways in which organizers are working to improve, including the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Council and the possibility of a name change.
The statement came one day after Dirty Kanza parent company Life Time fired Jim Cummins after he described the shooting of Rayshard Brooks as “justified” in a post on Facebook.
“As most of you know by now, we made the difficult decision yesterday to mutually part ways with the founder of Dirty Kanza,” organizers wrote in their statement on Sunday. “On behalf of all of us and our organization, we are truly sorry for the hurt and emotional distress the events of the last few days have caused.”
According to the statement, “As an initial step, in the last few weeks, Life Time has launched a Diversity and Inclusion Council. This council will allow us to act and put intentional focus on changes we need to make internally so our company, clubs and events are a place for everyone.”
Additionally, organizers addressed the subject of the Dirty Kanza name and the possibility that it could be changed in the future.
Earlier this year, Cyclista Zine started a petition calling for the race to change its name, with the petition describing Dirty Kanza as a slur, as Kanza is a name for the Kaw Nation and its people. At the time, Cummins met with Kaw Nation representatives, and then the race published a statement in conjunction with the Kaw Nation saying that the name would remain the same.
In Sunday’s social media post, race organizers said that they have been “have been working throughout this year on options for a name change.”
“Our event name wasn’t created with ill-intent, and while we have worked with and received support from the Kaw Nation, we also understand that our name should not cause hurt,” read the statement.
While they did not provide concrete details on a timeline or further explanation of what would ultimately come of those discussions, organizers committed to “share progress as we work through this process.”