Arthur Ashe Statue In Richmond Spray-Painted With ‘White Lives Matter’ Slogan
The Richmond statue of the legendary tennis player and civil rights activist, Arthur Ashe, has been vandalized with “White Lives Matter” graffiti. Police are currently investigating the situation after the statue was found spray-painted on Wednesday.
The statue of Arthur Ashe is the only one on Memorial Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, not dedicated to a Confederate leader.
A video on social media has shown a man at the memorial defending the “White Lives Matter” signs. Later in the video, he returned to remove the “Black Lives Matter” signs that were already there.
The man from the video was then confronted by a group. In the video, he was heard saying, “Don’t all lives matter? Why is it okay to spray paint on this statue Black Lives Matter and not White Lives Matter, what’s the difference?” It is unknown if this man is the same person who painted the slogan onto the statue.
Ashe was a Richmond native and the first black man to win three tennis grand slam titles including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. His statue was erected in 1996, three years after he died.
Following the death of George Floyd and the national unrest that has ensued protesting racial injustice, at least one statue on Memorial Avenue has been toppled, and four other statues are currently subject to removal. One statue that may be removed represents the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.