Arthur Ashe statue not leaving Richmond’s Monument Avenue after ‘White Lives Matter’ graffiti

Around the South

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The statue memorializing Arthur Ashe, the tennis legend and civil rights activist, will not be moving from Richmond’s Monument Avenue.

Ashe’s family had informed Mayor Levar Stoney in a letter that they would back a decision to temporarily relocate the memorial on Monument Avenue but a spokesperson for the mayor said on Friday that after “subsequent conversations” with the family, they “now wish for it to remain in its current place.”

“It is our intention to listen to the family and respect its wishes,” Jim Nolan, Stoney’s spokesperson, said in an email.

The letter from Ashe’s family was sent to Stoney after the monument was defaced with “WLM” and “White Lives Matter” on June 17. Black Lives Matter graffiti was eventually sprayed over the “WLM” graffiti.

David Harris Jr., Ashe’s nephew, said on Friday that Ashe’s legacy shows what Richmond is moving towards, noting that he was a diplomat for social justice who cared for the helping the future generations grow.

Harris said the Ashe monument, “shows that great leaders have come from Richmond, and great future leaders will come from here, too.”

Harris said the support Ashe’s family has received from the community since the announcement was made has been heartwarming, saying people’s response shows how much the area has grown and what Ashe means to the community.

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