VIENNA, Austria -- Officials in Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown quietly removed his name from a soccer stadium overnight, complying with the California governor's demand in a bitter dispute over his death penalty stance.
Authorities late Sunday night or early today removed the large metal letters spelling out the action star-turned-politician's name from the 15,300-seat stadium in the southern city of Graz, taking advantage of the Christmas lull to avoid attracting attention. They timed the work to take advantage of the Christmas lull to avoid attracting attention "and keep the media from taking photos," a local city hall official who declined to be named told Austrian television.
Schwarzenegger had written to the mayor of Graz a week ago asking that his name be removed after local activists called for the stadium to be renamed because of the governor's refusal to block the Dec. 13 execution of convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams.
Capital punishment is illegal in Austria, where many people consider it barbaric. Opposition had run especially high in Graz, whose official slogan is "City of Human Rights."
I'm sure he acts like he doesn't give a shit, but he does. People like him just cannot take that without incessantly wringing their hands and worrying about image. Meaningless but fun.