Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant asked a Kentucky judge in a letter Thursday to remove a Confederate monument honoring Robert E. Lee.
The Lee monument is located in Murray. Morant attended Murray State before he decided to turn pro.
“Murray felt like a second home from the minute I stepped on campus and became a part of the Murray State community,” Morant wrote to a Calloway County judge. “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.”
He added: “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.”
Morant is in his first season with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will be a part of the 22-team restart in Florida next month.
Confederate monuments have been taken down in wake of the deaths of George Floyd and the protests against racial injustice and police brutality that have ensued.
The Lee statue has been in front of the Calloway County Courthouse since 1917. Lee was the leader of the Confederate Army. He surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1985.