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Memphis Grizzlies rookie point guard Ja Morant wrote a letter to a Kentucky judge asking for the removal of an “oppressive” Confederate monument in downtown Murray, Kentucky.

Morant played college basketball for Murray State and was a first-team All-American in 2019 when he led the Racers to a first-round NCAA tournament upset. He went on to be drafted No. 2 in the draft that year by Memphis. 

“Murray felt like a second home from the minute I stepped on campus and became a part of the Murray state community,” Morant wrote in a letter to Calloway County, Kentucky Judge Kenneth C. Imes, dated Thursday. “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.”

The monument is a statue of Robert E. Lee and was erected in 1917 to honor Confederate soldiers from Calloway County. It is currently placed outside the Calloway County Courthouse.

The death of George Floyd on May 25 has sparked protests nationwide and around the world against racism and social injustices. Athletes have used their platform to speak out against police brutality and lend support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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