BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Family and friends of Ray Lewis are pushing back against calls for his statue to be taken down outside of M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens legend faced backlash Sunday for kneeling during the National Anthem.

Tens of thousands of people have called for the statue to be taken down, but family said it represents what Ray has already done for Baltimore and that can’t be changed.

RELATED: Petition Started To Remove Ray Lewis Statue From Ravens Stadium

Ray Lewis’ mother, friends and family knelt to pray under the iconic statue at M&T Bank Stadium Saturday.

“You can’t erase 17 years of history. You can’t erase two Super Bowls,” said Sunseria “Buffy” Smith, Ray Lewis’ mother. “You can’t erase Ray coming here, going to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He do stuff people don’t even know he do.”

The legendary Raven faced backlash after he locked arms with Ravens players and knelt during the National Anthem. Lewis said his stance was prayer, not protest.

“I think Ray showed bravery and he showed the country really what we all should be focusing on, and that’s praying together,” said Jack Brewer a friend of Lewis.

Since Sunday’s game in London, more than 70,000 people have signed the petition to have Lewis’ statue removed from M&T Bank Stadium. and security has been on 24 hour watch for days.

Ray and his mother Buffy said text messages between them discuss Ray praying on two knees.

“I would not apologize for my son on two knees praying. I cannot apologize for that,” Smith said.

“He deserves to have that statue, and not to have it removed, because he earned it,” family member Judy Dixon said.

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Comments (12)
  1. Disrespecting the National Anthem is awful, but doing it in a foreign Country borders on treason! That’s why I, and many of my friends, signed the petition. Apparently, these Negroes feel it’s wrong to take down a statue honoring something that was done over the past 17 years by a Negro football player, but it’s OK to destroy statues honoring the military of Caucasian Confederate soldiers, the vast, vast majority of whom didn’t even own slaves.

  2. Just like you said what he did cant be erased? So taking the statue down should not matter. Havent we recently taken down and destroyed some other statues? So what is the difference?

  3. I agree with Tootie, thats only 17 years of history they took down 100’s of years of my history. Tell me whats the differnce. He direspected our country the other statues did not.

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