George Mersho: Remove Shoe Palace's mural of misogynist Raider, Marshawn Lynch
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Shoe Palace, an athletic footwear and apparel retail chain, opened a brick and mortar in my beloved neighborhood, the Temescal district of Oakland. They honored Warriors 2017 MVP, Small Froward/Shooting Guard Kevin Durant, by commissioning an artist to paint a 20ft+ mural on the side of their building facing 49th st. Shortly after, they commissioned the same artist to paint a mural of Raiders Running Back, Marshawn Lynch. I'm petitioning to have the mural of Marshawn Lynch removed or replaced. Why?
The morning of Sunday July 17, 2005 I lost my best friend Meleia Willis-Starbuck to a senseless act of violence. She was an intelligent Ivy League student, beloved daughter, sister, friend and community activist. At the time Marshawn Lynch was a freshman at UC Berkeley. Early morning that morning, him and his CAL football teammates ran into Meleia and our group of girlfriends, they tried to coerce them into partying together but the women declined. This upset Marshawn and his teammates, they began sexually objectifying, insulting and aggressively grabbing the women attempting to kidnap and force them into coming to the party. Afraid of what might transpire, Meleia frantically called a close friend expressing her fear. When the friend arrived he fired several warning shots to scared the players. Tragically, Meleia was accidentally struck by one of the bullets and died on the scene.
It's vital that people are held accountable for their actions no matter who they are, especially in a case where an innocent life was lost. Had Marshawn or any of the football players had an ounce of respect for women, my best friend would still be alive today, their actions that morning perpetuate rape culture. Marshawn has never reached out to or apologized to Meleia's family, and his involvement as the instigator was immediately covered up by UC Berkeley. The shooter is serving his time in prison. Marshawn however, is hailed as a hero and glorified by the mural on your building. The mural is emotionally triggering, offensive, and a stained reminder of that horrific morning that left Meleia’s her loved ones and community devastated.
Please help me by signing this petition, sharing, spreading the truth to get the attention of Shoe Palace's CEO, George Mersho. Thank you so much for your time!
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