A statue of tennis legend Arthur Ashe was spray painted with the words “White Lives Matter” and “WLM” on Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.
Ashe is the only Black man to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. Throughout his career and afterward, Ashe fought for racial equality and civil rights, notably the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. He died in 1993.
The statue of Ashe was one of six on Monument Avenue in Richmond. The other five monuments commemorated the Confederacy, including Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart and Matthew Fontaine Maury. Protestors toppled the Davis statue last week.
After days of protests over racial inequality and police brutality, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the Lee statue removed “as soon as possible” on June 3. Mayor Levar Stoney later said he would propose for the removal of the four other Confederate statues.