LeBron James donates to Muhammad Ali exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Lebron James told USA TODAY Sports “Muhammad Ali is such a cornerstone of me as an athlete because of what he represented not only in the ring as a champion but more outside the ring — what he stood for, what he spoke for, his demeanor, I think of him every day. Without his passion and goals and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about it.”
Between James’ personal contributions as well as his foundations and his business partner, Maverick Carter, $2.5 million will go to the new exhibit, “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change.”
ICYMI: The King is honoring The Greatest.
LeBron is donating $2.5 million for a Muhammad Ali Smithsonian exhibit. https://t.co/yk6VTZfZBX
— ESPN (@espn) November 18, 2016
“His support will help us to continue the story of Muhammad Ali and will encourage athletes to realize how important athletics is in terms of social justice,” museum founding director Lonnie Bunch said. “It’s also really important that actions like this by Mr. James encourage younger athletes and people with means to recognize the philanthropy and paying homage to those who went before, how crucially important that is.”
When James’ legacy is discussed, so often it’s about what he does on the court. But to James, his charitable work is as much a part of his legacy as the on-court accomplishments, if not more.
— Live Civil (@LiveCivil) November 18, 2016
James has made a point in recent years of saying he could’ve been a statistic in the wrong way — another kid who didn’t finish high school, didn’t go to college. Of course, James’ rare basketball talent and his dedication to fulfilling his potential allowed him to have success in adulthood. Not everyone has that, and James knows it.
“He has really been able to lay the groundwork for long-lasting change,” Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, said. “He is changing not only these kids, but their families and the community.
Death of Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest losses in modern history. That’s why it’s so important that such influential black people like Lebron James contribute to Ali’s legacy. Great athlete is not just a successful athlete , what makes both Muhammed Ali and Lebron James great is their ‘Force of Change’ and inspiration that they give to us all.