• Athletes petition against $5M building on UNC campus to house Silent Sam statue


    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Current and former University of North Carolina athletes are speaking out against new plans for the Silent Sam statue.

    More than 100 signed a petition against a new $5 million building to house the statue.

    The petition started Tuesday, but it already features several prominent athletes, including several current and former basketball and football players.

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    “It is very clear that if the University of North Carolina is to remain committed to diversity and inclusion, that symbol of division and racial violence cannot remain on campus,” said fencer Ezra Baeli-Wing.

    The petition suggests the school label the monument a public safety threat to get around a state law preventing its removal from campus.

    Earlier this month, the school’s board of trustees proposed the plan for the building, which would create a new history and education center on campus to house the controversial monument.

    The new building would allow the school to move the monument away from the main entrance.

    In August, protesters toppled the Silent Sam statue after demanding school officials tear it down.

    That initial protest led to several more days of protests, and dozens of people were arrested.

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