Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays, Bucs and Lightning join Dungy in donating to move Confederate monument

Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]

Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]

The Tampa Bay area's three major league sports teams have pledged their financial support in moving a Confederate monument out of downtown Tampa.

A joint statement released by the Tampa Bay Rays, Buccaneers and Lightning says that "this monument does not reflect the values of our community" and that all three organizations have "dedicated funds to assist in moving the statue from the public space" in front of the old Hillsborough County courthouse.

In a divisive 4-2 vote Wednesday, county commissioners gave fundraisers 30 days to collect $140,000, about half of what's needed to relocate the monument to a small family cemetery in Brandon. If they couldn't raise it, the monument would stay outside the old county courthouse in downtown Tampa.

Fundraisers appeared to surpass that goal on Thursday when Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mike Griffin announced a $70,000 donation, which would push the campaign over its goal when coupled with a $50,000 donation from Tampa businessman and former Tampa Bay Storm owner Bob Gries and other grass roots fundraising.

Earlier Thursday, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach and Tampa resident Tony Dungy announced publicly today that he'd be contributing $5,000 to a fund to move the monument and said he challenged the Bucs Rays and Lightning to help.

The Buccaneers and Rays organizations had both previously said they supported removing the statue back in July, though the Lightning had declined to weigh in on the debate at that time.

As of 2:30 p.m., the Go Fund Me page that Dungy tweeted out had more than $50,000 in donations from close to 700 people.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn posted to social media a picture of a signed check from him for $1,000 to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and shared a link to the same Go Fund Me campaign.

Lightning wing J.T. Brown, one of only 30 African American players in the NHL, decided to get involved as well, donating $1,500 of his own money. Watching the violent protests in Charlottesville from his offseason home in Minneapolis, Brown said one of his first thoughts was how difficult it would be for him and his wife, Lexi, to explain to their eight-week-old daughter, Lily, why such a tragic event occurred.

"For me, that kind of re-motivated me to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make sure the community is a better place for her and everyone," Brown said.


RAISING FUNDS: Tampa investor gives $50K to remove monument, Buckhorn posts photo of his $1K check

VOTE: Hillsborough will leave Confederate monument up if it can't get money to remove it

MORE DUNGY: The answer to racial strife? Dungy offers his at Tampa forum

Rays, Bucs and Lightning join Dungy in donating to move Confederate monument 08/17/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality


    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]
  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'


    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'


    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings


    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations


    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.