Nearly 1,600 people have signed a Change.org petition asking that a controversial Confederate statue standing at the University of Louisville be replaced with a statue of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the Louisville Cardinal reports.
“Since UofL has decided to remove the blight that is the Confederate statue on campus, what better to replace it than a statue in memory of Louisville’s greatest son, Muhammad Ali,” the petition reads.
In April, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced that the 121-year-old bronze memorial featuring three Confederate soldiers would be taken down.
“I recognize that some people say this monument should stay here because it is part of history, but I also appreciate that we can make our own history,” Fischer said in April.
Ali, born Cassius Clay, passed away on Friday night. He is considered an athletic legend and icon, and was a Louisville native.
“No better way to honor a fierce social justice champion than to have him knock out and replace the symbol of our racial shame,” petition signer Chris Nolen wrote. “Your confederate ‘heritage’ is racist AF, KY. It has no place on a campus of higher learning.”
“Ali stands as one of the greatest Kentuckians if not Americans of our times. He deserves this honor for his contributions to the struggle for equality, his strength, and his care,” signer James Fowler agreed.
The petition, launched by Molly Shah and directed to Fischer and Ramsey, has a signing goal of 2,500.