The Tampa Bay Lightning, Buccaneers and Rays have joined together to help in the effort to remove a Confederate memorial statue that stands in front of the city's downtown courthouse.
The three professional sports teams in the Tampa area released a joint statement about removing the statue, via the Buccaneers official Twitter account:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @TBBuccaneers
A joint statement from the Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays: https://t.co/A825Lj0a1M2017-8-17 18:16:17
The decision comes after former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy said he was donating $5,000 to get the statue removed, and challenged the Tampa-area teams to contribute.
Tony Marrero of the Tampa Bay Times reported on Tuesday some members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans were "standing guard" to watch over the statue and ensure it would not be taken down.
Several cities in the United States have recently removed or torn down Confederate statues and symbols.
Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the removal or alteration of "four Confederate-linked monuments" around the city on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, per Colin Campbell and Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun.
Aaron Mesmer of Fox 13 News reported Monday that Hillsborough County commissioners set a one-month deadline to find the $140,000 funds needed to move the statue from outside the courthouse in Tampa.