JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars, coaches and staff marched from TIAA Bank Field to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, as part of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
It began at 9:04 a.m. Friday, which was intentional, as the area code for the Jacksonville area is 904.
“For many Americans, now is the moment. Never has that been clearer. Our players are leading an organization-wide march to raise awareness for racial injustice against the Black community. This is just the first step forward," the Jags shared on Twitter.
The march reignited the discussion on what Jacksonville should do with its Confederate monuments.
Jaguars Wide Receiver Chris Conley ‘took down’ the one in Hemming Park with words.
“A Confederate monument sits a couple blocks from here, praising the south’s dark past,” Conley said.
Later Friday, Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted in part, “I will announce policy initiatives and actions I will take to bring our city together and address racial inequality.”
A city spokesperson added on Tuesday we’ll hear about immediate executive authorities Curry can use.
A reliable source told Action News Jax it will partly deal with the monument Conley is referring to.
“Our revisionist history would tell us that it’s there to honor men fighting for state’s rights, but true history would tell us that in the Cornerstone Address, Alexander Stevens said that our states are built on the fact that the negro is inferior, and slavery and subordination is his normal and natural state,” Conley said. “That’s true history.”
Conley isn’t alone. A new petition to remove Confederate monuments in the city had more than 400 signatures as of Friday night.
“[The monuments represent] pain, a dark period in our country’s history,” City Councilman Garrett Dennis said.
Dennis, who sees the monument every day working at City Hall, wants to see action. He said he would sponsor legislation to remove them.
Seber Newsome of the Sons of Confederate Veterans reached out to us, saying in part, “This monument is 122 years old. It’s for the soldiers in Florida who died and were buried in mass graves. That’s our heritage, our history.”
WATCH: Jaguars wide reciever Chris Conley delivers powerful remarks during Jaguars’ march to JSO headquarters
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