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David Fizdale “won’t let up” on effort to remove Confederate monuments in Memphis

The head coach backs up his recent actions advocating the removal of statues from Memphis parks

Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale at Tuesday’s press conference.
Mac Trammell

At the end of Tuesday’s press conference introducing Mario Chalmers, Tyreke Evans, and Ben McLemore, Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale fielded a question about his recent comments on confederate monuments in Memphis.

The 43 year-old second year head coach responded at length, saying, “it’s a topic we got to continue to face” and that he “won’t let up until we get our city where it should be.”

Fizdale specifically stated his goal that “I just feel in my heart what’s right for our city is to get rid of—out of public view—things that remind a big chunk of our population in our city of horrible things.”

He went on to say, “That’s what Black Lives Matter means. It matters to us when we have to look up at a statue of somebody that was oppressive to us, and continuously have to go to those parks and see that in plain view and that our children have to see and asking us questions of that. That’s what that means. And so I won’t let up on that.”

Fizdale, a former Miami Heat assistant, recently stood beside confederate statues of Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forest in Memphis wearing t-shirts that read “Honor King: End Racism” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Fizdale also said that he brought up the issue of the statues within the organization since he first arrived in Memphis last summer.

A full transcription of his remarks can be found below as well as the recording of it.

“It’s a topic that we got to continue to face it. 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 the statues, within the organization, so I just wanted to make sure I was very clear on where I stood with this whole thing. I won’t let up on it until we get our city where it should be. I’ll probably see a lot of people that disagree with me, but I just feel in my heart what’s right for our city is to get rid of—out of public view—things that remind a big chunk of our population in our city of horrible things. That’s what Black Lives Matter means. It matters to us when we have to look up at a statue of somebody that was oppressive to us, and continuously have to go to those parks and see that in plain view and that our children have to see and asking us questions of that. That’s what that means. And so I won’t let up on that.”