Extra security has been added near the statue of retired Ravens star Ray Lewis at M&T Bank Stadium after he joined current players Sunday in kneeling during the national anthem, provoking calls to remove the likeness.
As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, more than 36,000 people had signed an online petition on change.org that advocates for the removal of the Lewis statue “because of his refusal to stand during the National Anthem.
“That song honors our country and our veterans who fought for it,” the petition reads. “To kneel during it is disrespectful, regardless of what you are protesting.”
Given recent statue-related protests and vandalism, the Maryland Stadium Authority didn't wait until this Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to take precautions.
“There is additional security at the statue plaza at this time," said Rachelina Bonacci, a spokesperson for the authority, which is the team’s stadium landlord.