For the first time, University of Hawaii Athletics Director Ben Jay shared the personal reason behind his decision to put the word “Rainbow” back into men’s sports.
At first, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to open up, but he did.
“It’s a tough story,” Jay said.
Nearly 75 people listened to him at a town hall meeting at Pearlridge Elementary School.
Jay shared the real reason behind his nickname decision. He talked about a local family he’s gotten close to and a phone call he received from their young son.
“My dad says you’re going through a tough time and I wanted to call you,” Jay said.
Jay said the child just wanted to cheer him up and then asked a simple question.
“He said to me, ‘Mr. Ben, I don’t understand any of this, but why can’t there be a Rainbow and a Warrior?,’” Jay said.
He didn’t have any answers for his young friend, but kept thinking about that conversation.
“To have a little guy like that, say, ‘Why can’t there be a Rainbow and a Warrior?’” Jay said.
He listened to the boy and many other fans.
“He knew he was going to take flak for changing his mind, but he did the right thing and he knew what the right thing was because he listened to the community,” UH fan Steve Chinen said.
“Kinda sad story. Good story. I guess that would change anybody’s mind,” UH fan Miles Nakayama said.
That name change will go into effect July 1.