Tampa Bay Sports Teams Step Up Against Racism

In Off The Field by Ashleigh Binder

It has been a dark week for American citizens who got a glimpse of the hatred that is living in this country.  For a long time our country has been divided, but it was never more clear than this past weekend in Charlottesville.  Since that horrible day, many cities have decided it was time to remove Confederate statues.  It is sad that it took a Neo-Nazi march for government officials to realize how people viewed these monuments as racist.  While the NFL, MLB, and NHL have chosen not to get involved in the massive debate going on in this country, some teams decided to do their part.

The Tampa Bay sports teams, Buccaneers, Rays, and Lightnng, made a joint statement that they would cover the cost to remove the Confederate statue outside of the Tampa courthouse.   The statement said, “Recognizing that this monument does not reflect the values of our community, in collaboration with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, our organizations have dedicated funds to assist in moving the statue from the public space in front of the courthouse.  Now more than ever before, we must stand united and committed to diversity and inclusion as we all attempt to heal from the tragedy in Charlottesville.” The moves comes after former Bucs coach Tony Dungy announced that he would donate $5,000 to the fund being raised to take the statue down.  Lightning wing J.T. Brown donated $1,500 of his own money to the fund as well.

It is moments like this that we see the power that sports can have. For the crowd that thinks teams should stick to on the field action, that is no longer an option.