Some of the last vestiges of the Rizzo name are disappearing from the Philadelphia landscape.
The Police Athletic League board voted Monday to change the name of the former Rizzo PAL facility in Port Richmond. On the association website the building now just reads 24th District PAL Center. A committee will be formed to pick a new name.
The move comes after the statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo was removed from near Philadelphia City Hall and a mural of him was painted over near the Italian Market.
Frank Rizzo Jr. the son of the late mayor is disappointed.
“I guess there isn’t too much that can be done about it that other than the fact that I know deep down inside, many people Frank Rizzo was a good person, he was not a racist and that’s the end of the conversation,” he said.
The statue was scheduled to be removed next year, but was hauled off overnight last week. Mayor Jim Kenney said he was responding to protesters who see Rizzo as a symbol of racism and police brutality because of his record as police commissioner and mayor.
Ted Quali, Executive Director of the Police Athletic League said in a statement the vote to rename the Port Richmond facility was unanimous
“As a nonprofit organization that exists to create and foster positive relationships between cops and kids, the change was deemed necessary by the committee to ensure all children and families feel welcome at this PAL center as well as our 18 other locations.
“We believe now is the time for us as a community to join together to work for systematic change. It is our hope that collectively we can make our community, our city, and our world better for society,” the statement continued.
A spokesperson for Mayor Kenney says a South Philly ice rink run by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is named after Ralph Rizzo, the former mayor’s father. The spokesman says there are currently no plans to rename the rink.