Cleveland City Council continues to debate “Don King Way”

CLEVELAND - A proposed ordinance to rename a portion of Cedar Avenue after legendary boxing promoter Don King is drawing criticism and making headlines around the world.

“This ordinance has brought shame and embarrassment to the city of Cleveland,” said Councilman Zach Reed before city council Monday night.

The ordinance was first proposed in the spring, but reintroduced in August with one controversial change.

Originally, a part of Shaker Boulevard was going to be designated "Don King Way", right in front of the historic African-American newspaper the Call and Post, which King owns and saved from bankruptcy.

The new statute would rename a portion of Cedar Ave, the same street where King stomped a man to death who owed him money in 1966.

King was later pardoned and turned his life around. Over the years he has donated millions of dollars to various charities and always given back to Cleveland.

For that reason, Councilman Reed has been working to build a new football field and sports complex at King's alma mater John Adams High School, but he says they need to stay away from Cedar.

Councilwoman Maime Mitchell sponsored the ordinance but has reportedly been very ill and unavailable for comment.

But Councilman Kevin Conwell did speak Monday and pointed out that many street names can be considered controversial.

“Some of the streets in America are named after, if you look at the history, former slave owners,” said Conwell.

For now the issue has been put on hold by Council President Kevin Kelley with no indication of when it may be readdressed or put to vote.