NBA player LeBron James is donating $2.5 million for a Muhammad Ali exhibit that focuses on the boxer’s athletic achievements and how he paved the way for other black athletes, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture announced Thursday.

“Every professional athlete, regardless of race and gender, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Muhammad Ali,” James said in a statement.

“His legacy deserves to be studied and revered by every generation. I am honored to partner with the Smithsonian to celebrate one of the most influential figures in our nation’s history who, along with Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens, used the power of sports to advance our civil rights.”

The “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change” exhibit has been open since the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Sept. 24 opening in Washington.

The Smithsonian describes the exhibit as telling a story of how Ali transcended the sports world while challenging racial barriers, laying “the groundwork for the successful careers of so many African-Americans in athletics and beyond.”

Maverick Carter, James’ business partner, also contributed to the $2.5 million gift. Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, told the Smithsonian she was “overwhelmed” by the generosity of the Cleveland Cavaliers player.

The exhibit contains the heavyweight champion’s head gear and training robe that he used when he trained at Dundee’s Fifth Street Gym. It also focuses on the criticism Ali faced during the 1960s and 1970s as a Muslim who said his religious views disabled him from being able to enlist during the Vietnam War. It also featurs his work as a humanitarian and social activist in later years.

“We are extremely grateful to LeBron James for his support of the museum,” said Damion Thomas, curator of the Sports Gallery. “As the most socially active superstar in sports today, LeBron James is a testament to the influence of Muhammad Ali. Ali embodied the racial and social tumult of his times, blurring lines between politics and sports, activism and entertainment.”

Trump escaping NYC this weekend for New Jersey

Also from the Washington Examiner

The president-elect has been holed up in his skyscraper residence for most of the past week.

11/17/16 6:22 PM

David Axelrod scolds critics of Trump's transition progress

Top Story

Axelrod noted that Obama’s transition team “hadn’t made any major appointments at this point in 2008.”

11/17/16 1:21 PM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply