Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant asks Kentucky judge to remove Confederate monument
Memphis Grizzlies rookie point guard Ja Morant has asked a Kentucky judge to remove a Confederate monument in downtown Murray.
A number of Confederate statues and monuments have been removed around America in the wake of the protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of policemen. With that said, Morant — who played his college ball at Murray State where he became a national star — wants to do the same.
“Murray felt like a second home from the minute I stepped on campus and became a part of the Murray state community,” the Grizzlies rising star said in a letter to the Calloway County judge dated Thursday, via ESPN:
“As a young Black man, I cannot stress enough how disturbing and oppressive it is to know the city still honors a Confederate war general defending white supremacy and hatred. Given recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s necessary to act now. We can’t change the culture of racism unless we change the celebration of racism.”
The monument Ja Morant is referring to is a statue of Robert E. Lee, which was erected in 1917 to honor Confederate soldiers from Calloway County. The statue sits outside the Calloway County Courthouse in Murray, Kentucky.
Morant and the Grizzlies will be among the 22 teams partaking in the resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World, assuming the NBA’s bubble plan still takes place. Until games are resumed though, Ja and seemingly every African American player in the NBA are going to continue to fight for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Before play was suspended in March, Morant was averaging 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the Grizzlies in 59 games. The explosive guard was also shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.0 percent from the free-throw line.