Reflections on a King
January 26, 2023
The burden of a king is heavy and complex; he is liable for the welfare of their kingdom, and criticism follows at every turn. However, their name stands the test of time if they rule with grace as legends.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prominent moral leaders this nation has produced, was celebrated last week but when it comes to Black athletes like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali that stood tall in the civil rights movement LeBron James of the Lakers continues his willingness to leverage his celebrity status and influence to champion social justice causes remains notable.
The NBA makes celebrating and reflecting on Dr. King's life and legacy a priority, with a rash of games on the day of his honor. James was reflective of the salience of the work of Dr. King.
"First of all, it's a beautiful day that we're able to celebrate such a great man and what he stood for, and everybody that was around him, that stood for him, and stood for his views, as well," said James after the Lakers played on Dr. Kings holiday.
"You know, for me, looking at guys like Dr. Martin Luther King, looking at guys like Muhammad Ali, you know, guys that, you know, spoke from their hearts of being able to understand what's going on in the world and being able to use their platforms to be able to shine light on some discrimination things or, you know, on views, they believe in.
"That's for the better of the people, no matter your color, no matter your skin, no matter how tall or short, no matter whatever the case may be. Your age. I'm gonna talk about how we can all be as one. How we all can preach love and not hate and things of that nature."
Now it would be silly to compare James' impact to that of Dr. King and the future Hall of Famer would agree. However, they both understand the power of love and allow their zeal to help make a more equitable society to fuel them.
Like, Dr. King, James' career and life has galvanized fans worldwide, and his influence spans the globe and transcends cultures, race, religion, identities, and political affiliation. His play unites volumes of people, to cheer and, if only for a moment, love one another.
James has committed his time and resources to represent and advocate for Black America.
"So, growing up in the inner city seeing how underprivileged black people are, I always felt like, if I had an opportunity to be able to have any type of platform, I always wanted to give back to that," LeBron added. "I always wanted to be able to use my voice, and people that I grew up like me to be able to understand that we do have power, we do have an opportunity to make people understand that there is good and love.
"You know, being able to give back to my community and being able to speak for my people and the things that we've been through or many, many, many, many, obviously, years we know the history, but it's definitely a treat to be able to perform and do what I love to do on such a great man's day. You know, Dr. King is one of the greatest men ever to walked the face of the earth."
Follow Eric on Twitter @elambsquared and Instagram @elamb5quared.