RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue was tagged with graffiti Wednesday, first with the initials “WLM” for White Lives Matter and eventually covered with “BLM” for Black Lives Matter.
Video shows two people scrubbing off the White Lives Matter, which was spray painted on the statue’s pillar, graffiti before a car pulls up in front of the memorial. A man is seen getting out the car and opening his trunk to get out a wet rag. He begins to wipe the “BLM” graffiti and a dispute ensues.
8News’ Alex Thorson reported that Ashe’s nephew, David Harris, walked up during the confrontation and attempted to de-escalate the situation.
Richmond police said they are pursuing a lead in the investigation after responding to the statue late this morning. Officers encountered a group cleaning the graffiti, police told 8News.
Ashe, a tennis legend and Richmond native, is a beloved figure in the city. The monument was erected in 1996 and the city renamed a major thoroughfare after Ashe last June.