Unveiled Friday, the “Rebirth” statue in New Orleans shows former Saints defensive back Steve Gleason blocking a punt . . . by a nondescript player from a nondescript team.
In reality, Gleason blocked a ball from the foot of Falcons punter Michael Koenen on September 26, 2006. The memorialization of the moment omits the Falcons logo or Koenen’s name, according to Jim Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Varney writes that the Falcons declined to grant permission for the use of the logos and name, with multiple requests from the Saints culminating in an appeal to owner Arthur Blank.
It’s unclear whether Blank made the decision, but it’s clear he didn’t unmake it.
While we can understand the reluctance, the Falcons were part of that moment. Keeping the logo and the name off the sculpture won’t change that fact.