Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant sent a letter to Judge Kenneth C. Imes in Murray, Kentucky, on Thursday requesting that a Confederate statue located in downtown Murray be removed.
Edward Alan Marlowe of the Paducah Sun tweeted the full letter sent by Morant:
Edward Alan Marlowe @dreamarlowe85
Former Murray State point guard and current Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant weighed in on the Confederate statue in the court-court downtown of Murray, Ky. https://t.co/77oaSfmcmq
Morant spent two seasons playing collegiately for the Murray State Racers from 2017 to 2019 before being selected second overall by the Grizzlies in 2019. Nba Project.
Morant wrote that he was “x-fifth” of his ties to Murray’s state and that he “felt like a second residence” upon his arrival. At the same time, Morant expressed concern about the statue’s continued presence:
“As a young black man, I cannot express enough how disturbing and oppressive it is to know that the city still honors a Confederate war general defending white supremacy and hatred. Given recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement, it is necessary to act now. We cannot change the culture of racism if we do not change the celebration of racism. Please help us to take a stand and remove this symbol of hatred and oppression.
The statue, which stands on the grounds of the The Calloway County Courthouse represents Confederate General Robert E. Lee. By Dalton York of WKMS, Morant’s plea to remove the statue came after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called for his removal earlier this week.
After the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, there have been nationwide protests against racial inequality, police brutality and social injustice that have included renewed efforts to remove Confederate symbols.
In particular, NASCAR Announced This week, Confederate flags will be banned at all racetracks moving forward. The decision was made after Bubba Wallace, who is the only black driver in one of NASCAR’s three national series, expressed his belief that this should happen.
If the statue at the Calloway County Courthouse is removed, it will come on the heels of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis being Removed De the Kentucky State Capitol on Saturday as well.