Ravens increase security around Ray Lewis statue after petition to tear it down

Increased security has been added by the Maryland Stadium Authority around the Ray Lewis statue outside M&T Bank Stadium. A spokeswoman confirmed the addition of security personnel to the Washington Post.

The move came after a Change.org petition was circulated earlier this week calling for the statue's removal. The stated reason for the petition was that Lewis kneeled on both knees during the national anthem before the Ravens' game against the Jaguars in London on Sunday. As of this writing, the petition has 53,664 supporters and claims it will be delivered to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti once it reaches 75,000 supporters. 

"I dropped on two knees -- both knees -- so I can simply honor God in the midst of chaos," Lewis said on "Inside the NFL," explaining why he kneeled after criticizing former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for doing so last year. 

Lewis, who is arguably the best player in the franchise's history, received the statue outside of the stadium three years ago. He said during a radio appearance that the petition does not bother him. 

"It only bothers me if I blatantly did something to gain awareness for myself," he said. "What I did is for our country. That's why I challenge people."

He expanded on those thoughts by saying, "I took two knees because I have a first amendment right just like everybody else. And when I came out of that locker room, I had a choice to make. And look at my fellow players and I looked at these young guys. I'm not in the protesting business, I'm not into this, whatever Trump wanna say. I'm not into that mess, but if these young boys doing what they doing, then I got to meet them where they are."

The Ravens players kneeling next to Lewis said they were protesting the president's recent comments that NFL owners should fire any "son of a bitch" that kneels or otherwise demonstrates during the national anthem. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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