One day an issue is at the center of the national media spotlight, a few days later the national attention span has moved on. The controversy around Confederate statues and memorials has been out of t the spotlight this week (understandably, with what is going on in Houston).
But Grizzlies coach David Fizdale isn’t letting it go. Nor should he. Here is what Fizdale said on the issue to the USA Today.
“It’s a topic that we’ve got to continue to face,” Fizdale said. “We can’t act like it’s not in front of us. Obviously, with all the stuff that happened in Charlottesville, since the day I got here I’ve been talking about these statues within the organization. So I just wanted to make sure I was very clear on where I stood with this whole thing. You know, I won’t let up on it until I get our city where it should be.”
Memphis has two statues to Memphis natives, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a man who went on to be one of the early members of — and reportedly the first grand wizard of — the Ku Klux Klan (he would later deny to Congress any involvement with the group). These are statues dedicated to men who fought to uphold slavery as an institution, and both were built (like most of these memorials) during the Jim Crow law eras to help reinforce the racism and segregation of that era.
The Memphis City Council voted in 2015 to remove those statues, but those plans were killed by the Tennessee Historical Commission, which has jurisdiction. The city is still fighting that legal battle.
So is Fizdale. And he’s not letting it go.
Good for him.