The three major professional sports teams from the Tampa, Fla., area did not merely denounce a Confederate monument downtown — they have helped subsidized its removal.
In a joint statement, the Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Buccaneers said Thursday that they had donated an unspecified sum to take down a memorial in front of the old Hillsborough County courthouse, which depicts two Confederate soldiers on either side of an obelisk. The monument “does not reflect the values of our community,” the teams said.
The teams’ donation was part of a surge that came a day after county commissioners voted to give fund-raisers 30 days to raise $140,000 — about half of the amount needed to relocate the memorial to a cemetery in suburban Brandon. The commissioners voted about a month ago to move the memorial.
Efforts to remove monuments or flags connected with the Confederacy have intensified over the last few years in …