On Thursday, the Rays released a statement along with the two other major Tampa Bay sports franchises, the Buccaneers and the Lightning, that all three teams would provide financial support to aid in the removal of a Confederate statue. In light of recent events in Charlottesville, which saw violence arise in relation to a similar monument, many cities across the country are now taking proactive measures to prevent future occurrences of this type of demonstration.
The removal of the monument, Memoria en Aeterna, which is currently located in front of the Hillsborough County courthouse, is not a new discussion. Last month a 4-2 vote was cast in favor of removing the statue, but the county commissioners said no county funds would be used to do so. Should public funding not be able to raise the roughly $150,000 needed to bring it down within 30 days, the monument would remain.
BREAKING: Combined statement from Bucs, Rays and Lightning on pitching in to remove Confederate monument from downtown Tampa. pic.twitter.com/0dMNHy6DCI— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) August 17, 2017
Bravo to the Rays, Bucs, and Lightning, for proving themselves to be true pillars of the Tampa Bay community.