Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis… the statues have been coming down like autumn leaves in the northeast lately. And in Baltimore there’s one more on the chopping block, at least if the powers that be pay any attention to an online petition which is drawing quite a bit of traffic.
Outside of M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Ravens, there’s another iconic piece of sculpture which is the focus of this story. But the person being honored didn’t fight for the Confederacy. Nor did he fight for the Union for that matter. He played middle linebacker in the NFL and his name is Ray Lewis. (CBS Baltimore)
More than 16,000 people have signed an online petition to remove the statue of Ray Lewis from outside M&T Bank Stadium after he joined current players in taking a knee during the national anthem before Sunday’s game.
The change.org petition was started after Ravens players knelt during the national anthem before the team played the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
The Maryland Stadium Authority has added extra security to watch the statue.
It’s not even a particularly large statue and it’s sitting on stadium property, not government land. (As near as I can tell anyway.) It seems as if the only people who could decide to remove it (at least legally) would be the Ravens. But enough of their fans are upset over Lewis joining in on the National Anthem protest controversy that thousands of them want to see it gone. And plenty of folks are definitely upset. The combat veteran who has been singing the National Anthem for the Ravens for several years now just turned in his notice.
But returning to the subject at hand, one question immediately comes to mind. So this is what it took for you to become frustrated with Ray Lewis having a statue out there? I’m sure there were other people upset about it long before this. People like Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar for example. Or at least they would have been upset if they weren’t, you know… dead. I realize that Lewis got off on those murder charges with a plea deal but it was one of the shadier transactions in the history of our courts. Yes, the guy was legendary on the gridiron and there’s no taking away his remarkable record on the field, but it seems like there would be some point where the extenuating circumstances drop you out of public statue territory.
Here’s the good news in all of this. If the Ray Lewis statue does come down it won’t be the result of government malfeasance, leftist agitation or anything else directly related to politics. It will be a business decision made by the franchise based on their own future profitability. That’s capitalism in action and if the removal of that statue is where the free market road leads us, I suppose we can’t complain too much.