‘White Lives Matter’ sprayed on Arthur Ashe memorial

U.S. & World

FILE – In this July 10, 1996 file photo, a crowd gathers at the base of the Arthur Ashe Monument after the ceremony dedicating the statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. The statue of the African American tennis legend has been vandalized with the words “White Lives Matter.” Richmond Police said they were alerted to the vandalism Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Police say red paint on the statue itself was already being cleaned off by community members. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. — A statue of African American tennis star Arthur Ashe has been vandalized.

Photos show the base of the monument tagged with white spray paint and the words “white lives matter” as well as the initials “WLM.” Those initials were later painted over with “BLM,” short for black lives matter.

Richmond Police said they were alerted to the vandalism on Monument Avenue about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. Police say red paint on the statue itself was already being removed by community members.

Authorities have information on possible suspects and are asking the community to call the Crime Stoppers line if they have information on who was responsible for the vandalism.

The monument was dedicated in 1996 to memorialize the Richmond native, who died in 1993, and to counterbalance the string of statues on Memorial Avenue dedicated to Confederate leaders.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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