Thousands sign petition to remove Ray Lewis statue

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - Between protests and taking a knee, the NFL has been more than just football this season.

Now, the effects of these protests are hitting close to home for the Baltimore Ravens.

Just short of 50,000 fans are joining a petition to remove a statue of the famed linebacker, Ray Lewis, outside of the Ravens stadium.

This comes after he knelt on both knees at last Sunday's game in London.

Since the petition, there has been added security guarding the statue at all times.

Lewis said he was not protesting, but praying. He said he honors the military and other officials too much to disrespect the flag.

Now with the petition on change.org to remove his statue, people in Baltimore have mixed reactions.

"This whole thing was supposed to be about police brutality and equality now they talking about Ray statue who cares about Ray statue, I don't."

"They should tear it down."

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has also commented on the issue. She says the players are exercising their First Amendment rights, 

"I stand with the teams and I stand with the owners. I just think that people should have the right to freedom of speech."

The petition is addressed to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

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