Tennis Legend, Arthur Ashe Gets Virginia Street Renamed In His Honor

Ashe achieves hometown glory.

ESPN reports that thousands of people attended Saturday’s ceremony to celebrate the formal renaming of Tennis superstar Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

 

Several elected officials were in attendance including renowned Georgia civil rights activist, John Lewis and former mayor of Richmond, Sen. Tim Kaine, who called the new name “an act of healing.”

Ashe’s nephew, David Harris Jr., help lead efforts to rename the street previously known simply as “Boulevard”.

At one end sits Byrd Park, with tennis courts where Ashe was denied access during his child due to segregation

The Richmond City Council voted earlier this year to approve the name change over the objection of some residents. Stating that there were better ways to honor the late tennis player than legally changing the name of the street.

Ashe is was a well-known philanthropist, who promoted education and civil rights.

He was the first black player selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team and the only black man to ever win the singles title at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

The newly named street comes at a time when Richmond, one-time capital of the Confederacy, has been struggling with calls to remove Confederate statues.